West Kootenay Regional Airport. Photo: Betsy Kline

UPDATE: Air Canada pushes potential flight resumption back to October

Air Canada expected to resume flights this fall

The City of Castlegar is preparing to resume commercial flights at the West Kootenay Regional Airport (WKRA).

Air Canada had previously announced that flights would be cancelled at least until the beginning of September, they have now pushed that date back to October 1.

On its website, Air Canada is currently selling seats to Vancouver and Calgary starting October 1. Three daily flights to Vancouver are available, and one to Calgary.

Castlegar communications manager Bree Seabrook said an informal survey conducted by the city showed that there are still a lot of people in the area that plan to return to flying as soon as flights resume.

COVID-19 mitigation work is already being planned to equip the terminal with barriers at key locations and to add new signage and floor markers.

RELATED: West Kootenay Regional Airport sees action in spite of Air Canada cancellations

Other upcoming work at the airport includes runway friction calibration tests — which are needed every two years — and air side audits for the runways, taxiways and apron.

“This will involve inspecting all our runways and taxiway markers, air side signage, and updating our pavement load rating,” said Gauvreau.

The WKRA saw 400 plane movements during July including two medevac flights. A movement is considered a landing, take-off or simulated approach to the runway.

There was very little revenue at the airport during July as most of the movements were due to Cessna and piston engine aircraft which are not charged landing fees.

Revenue for April was $29,000 — down from $41,000 last year for a 28 per cent loss.

Revenue for May was $18,000 — down from $75,000 last year for a 76 per cent loss.

June revenue was only $7,400 — down from $90,000 last year for a 92 per cent loss.



betsy.kline@castlegarnews.com

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