YLW Connection - Winter 2009 - (Page 21)

Advisory Committee helps chart flight plan for Kelowna International | B Y D E VON B R OOK S Kelowna’s Mayor Sharon Shepherd addresses the crowd during the opening of the runway extension. M ost airports in Canada are run by airport authorities, but Kelowna International is different. explains, “The Advisory Committee was set up to get input from surrounding regions.” When the members convene they look at future development, transportation, or any other issue they deem relevant to the well-being and success of the airport. After discussion the committee writes up its recommendations, which are delivered to either airport management or Kelowna’s city council via the mayor. From there recommendations are discussed in city council and, if they are voted on positively, are assigned to city staff. The Mayor says, “Our staff have been charged with looking ahead and planning to 2025.” While the airport only recently completed two upgrades, one being the expansion of the terminal building and the extension of the runway from 7,200 to 8,900 feet, Mayor Shepherd says more plans are afoot. She explains, “The success of the airport has been around the planning.” Planning for the future is why the Advisory Committee and then the City, with support from private industry, pushed for the extended runway. It allows bigger planes to come directly from Europe or Asia. Direct European flights, Shepherd predicts will take one to two years to come to fruition and the first will likely be charter flights. Eliminating a stop over immediately increases the desirability of any location for international travellers who can be faced with up to 24 hours in travel time between departure and arrival. Economic spinoffs for the Okanagan from direct flights could be substantial. Next, Shepherd says, the airport will complete the parking expansion and upgrades. Another plan in the making is the construction of two bays for bus service between Kelowna and the airport. Right now transportation options are limited to private vehicles, taxis or pre-arranged bus pickups. Shepherd says this transit option is only one way the Advisory Committee hopes to make the airport more environmentally friendly. They are also working on xeriscaping (using drought resistant plants for landscaping) and reduced water use. n WINTER 2009 21 Kelowna Mayor Sharon Shepherd says, “We are unique in Canada in that we are the largest municipally-owned airport.” In keeping with that unique status the city has set up a structure to further the needs of the airport, the city and the region. Mayor Shepherd explains, “The airport is like a utility – it is expected to run on its own.” Beyond keeping operations on a sound financial footing the airport is very important to much more than just the City of Kelowna. The Mayor says, “It’s probably one of the major economic drivers of the entire Okanagan.” To accommodate its importance and generate good ideas, the City of Kelowna set up the Airport Advisory Committee. The 15-person committee always includes Kelowna’s mayor as the chair, a Kelowna city councillor, plus participants from neighbouring communities, Westbank First Nations and the Regional District. Shepherd

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of YLW Connection - Winter 2009

YLW Connection - Winter 2009
Airport Services
Customer Survey Shows YLW on Track
Las Vegas - The To-Do List That Never Ends
Winter Maintenance: Snow Removal 24/7
Kelowna's Largest Tim Hortons Lands at YLW
Air Canada - Connecting Kelowna to the World
Air Travel Etiquette
Staying Ahead of the Curve at YLW
Airport Ambassadors Make Dreams Come True
Dream Big
Advisory Committee Helps Chart Flight Plan for Kelowna International
Growing a Creative Okanagan Economy
Pregnancy & Travel
Flying Securely
YLW News
Trivia & Games

YLW Connection - Winter 2009