Wrong turn, wrong plane

Passengers travelling through Kelowna International Airport want access to more direct flights, and direct service to points overseas.

That was the number one priority among people surveyed as part of the airport's overall 2045 Master Plan.

The airport spent $8 million in 2008 to extend the runway by 1,600 feet. The extension meant large planes on non-stop flights from England or Germany could land in Kelowna.

Ten years later, that service is still not available.

More parking and accessibility, more food and beverage choices, and improved arrivals area and baggage carousels also rose to the top of the list.

The survey is part of a report on airport improvements needed as YLW anticipates yearly passenger traffic to more than double from the current 1.6 million to 3.6 million, by 2045.

The report, which will be presented to council at its Monday morning meeting, indicates runway capacity and runway length is sufficient to handle future growth, which includes an anticipated 50 per cent increase in aircraft movement.

An additional five remote aircraft parking stalls are expected to be needed by 2035, with one new terminal gate stand by 2045.

Better signage may also be needed to assist passengers who have trouble navigating the airside corridor.

They often get lost, accidentally leave the secure area, and even board the wrong plane. The current holding area is said to be highly congested, noisy and causes confusion for passengers.

The cost of implementing the 2045 master plan will be known later in the spring.

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