Data for the West Kootenay Regional Airport shows reliability rates and passenger counts were up for the first quarter of 2019.
Reliability rates for January were 65 per cent, up 15 per cent over last year. February saw reliability at 78 per cent, up two per cent, and March rates were 90 per cent, up five per cent.
The increase in passenger traffic went beyond the expected increase related to the fact that more flights landed.
Passenger traffic was up 44 per cent in January, seven per cent in February and 22 per cent in March.
In January 2,988 passengers travelled through the airport, 3,648 travelled in February and 5,748 in March.
Castlegar’s city councillors were pleased with the report when they received it at last week’s council meeting.
Councillor Maria McFaddin noted that even though reliability is largely based on weather and cannot be changed, the fact more passengers are travelling through the airport is encouraging.
Total first quarter passenger traffic was 12,384 compared to 9,813 in 2016, 10,532 in 2017 and 10,207 in 2018.
Improvements to the airport’s airfield electrical systems will be taking place in the coming months.
Castlegar council awarded a $108,266 contract for the consulting and project management portion of the project to Tetra Tech Canada last week.
Transport Canada will supply almost $1.3 million towards the project.
Construction is expected to start towards the beginning of September.
The Province of British Columbia is also kicking in $1 million for a taxiway pavement rehabilitation project. The city will pay the remaining $350,000 needed to complete that project.