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Big aircraft causes small delay at Kelowna airport

Special procedures involved in landing a Canadian Department of National Defence Boeing Globemaster resulted in a delay to an incoming WestJet flight at the Kelowna airport.
April 30, 2021 - 6:30 AM

A technical problem related to parking one of the largest aircraft ever to visit Kelowna International Airport caused a minor disruption in service earlier this week.

Airport director Sam Samaddar says a Government of Canada Department of National Defence Boeing C177 Globemaster was conducting technical exercises out of the airport on Tuesday, April 27.

A problem with the huge aircraft’s ’tug’ resulted in an inbound WestJet Q-400 having to go into a holding pattern for several minutes until the aircraft could be moved.

“This aircraft is housed at the Kelowna Flightcraft apron, but it’s so big, it can’t power onto our taxi system like other aircraft, so it lands, shuts down and gets towed to the apron,” Samaddar said in a phone interview today, April 29.

READ MORE: Expect to hear the thrum of Canadian military helicopters in the Okanagan

When the aircraft landed on Tuesday, a technical problem resulted in a delay in the tug getting connected to the aircraft.

“The Globemaster is so big, it encroaches on the runway zoning because of its tail height. The incoming WestJet flight was scheduled to land at the time and had to initiate a missed approach for several minutes until the plane could be moved,” he said, calling the procedure part of a sequence of what has to be done with the Globemaster.

The incident generated an occurrence report by Transport Canada.

Samaddar says it's one of the largest aircraft ever to land at Kelowna International.

The plane has since departed. It had been coming and going earlier this week, without incident, to pick up Canadian Armed Forces teams involved in training exercises up and down the Okanagan.

Samaddar says Kelowna was fortunate to be part of this year’s training exercises, as COVID-19 and the U.S. border closure has resulted in training that is usually done in the States being done within Canada.

Kelowna International has the only runway in the B.C. Interior that can handle an aircraft that size.

The largest aircraft ever to land in Kelowna is the Soviet-made Antonov, which landed at the airport in 2009.

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