Southwest Airlines 737 makes unscheduled stop in St. George

ST. GEORGE — Planes stacked up over McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, Nevada, Monday caused a Southwest Airlines 737-800 to divert to St. George Regional Airport to take on more fuel.

Southwest Airlines Flight 3729 from Chicago, Illinois, was scheduled to land at 3:40 p.m. PDT in Las Vegas. But a Federal Aviation Administration rule made the captain decide to divert to St. George.

“If they get to an airport, and they don’t have a 30-minute reserve (of fuel) then it’s a violation of FAA regulations,” St. George Regional Airport operations supervisor Brad Kitchen said.

“If a commercial aircraft takes off, and say I’m going to LAX, when I get to LAX I’ve got to have 30 minutes of fuel in reserve. That’s so if they get held in the holding pattern or the winds are strong that they can divert to another airport.”

Aircraft were lined up from Las Vegas almost to Colorado for landing, Kitchen said, so the captain diverted to St. George to pick up some more fuel. The Southwest flight was at the airport for almost an hour before resuming the flight.

“You just saw him take off, so he’s headed to Vegas,” Kitchen said.

Email: rwayman@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews | @NewsWayman

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2 Comments

  • Caveat_Emptor July 18, 2017 at 4:09 pm

    Frankly, it would be interesting to see SWA fly in/out to So Cal, and give United/Delta/American a little competition.
    With family in Phoenix, the AA service has been great, if you book well in advance.
    United, thru Denver, can be cost effective, compared to driving down to LV.
    Delta seems to be the worst priced service out of SGU……….

  • utahdiablo July 18, 2017 at 9:13 pm

    Hey, you might as well do something with this $168 Million buck white elephant we the us taxpayers had to pay for, after all these years we now have how many flights a week?

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