Penticton News

Improvements at Penticton airport to make flights more reliable

Three major projects are currently underway to upgrade Penticton Regional Airport, including terminal reconfiguration, a new maintenance building and new navigation protocols.

PENTICTON - With a bit of luck, passengers using Penticton Regional Airport will see fewer flight cancellations and delays as new navigational procedures are introduced to the airport in time for next winter.

Penticton Regional Airport Manager Kerri Haybittle-Raffel told Penticton city councillors yesterday improvements to airspace navigation was one of three key projects underway. The airport has experienced ‘significant growth’ in recent years, including nine per cent growth in passenger traffic through the terminal in the past two years.

She said Transport Canada and Nav Canada are working on Required Navigation Performance criteria for the airport, a type of performance based navigation procedure that will later this year hopefully reduce flight delays and cancellations from weather, smoke, low cloud, etc., in addition to improving safety on route and improving operational efficiencies for commercial aircraft able to utilize the new procedures.

Haybittle-Raffel said ongoing construction continued to reconfigure the airport and create more space and less congestion in the terminal building, with work expected to continue through 2020.

The work was causing some disruption, but would finish in stages over the next two years.

A new maintenance building is also in the works for the airport, with plans currently in the design stage.

A new five- or six-bay building will replace the present maintenance facility which is 60 years old, in addition to providing more space to house the airport’s maintenance vehicles.

The maintenance building is scheduled for completion in 2021.

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