Comox Valley Airport ready for its true test

Benefit of lower landing regulations will be realized when seasonal weather arrives

Terry Farrell

Record staff

Comox Valley Airport CEO Fred Bigelow is not only anticipating the changing seasons, he’s genuinely looking forward to it.

In June, the Comox Valley Airport (YQQ) announced the lowering of landing limits to a minimum instrument approach height of 250 feet, from a previous minimum height of 500 feet.

The new standards will further reduce cancellations and diversions during poor weather conditions.

“We are absolutely thrilled with this decision,” said Bigelow at the time. “The Comox Valley Airport can once again offer the kind of all-weather capability that travellers expect.”

Reaction was positive at the time of the announcement. The true test is on the horizon, however, as the change of seasons draws near.

Bigelow knows that his clientele is awaiting that first socked-in weather system, to see how much of a difference it really makes.

“If you have lived on the Island, particularly north of Nanaimo, for any reasonable period, then it is likely that either you or someone you know has experienced a delay or cancellation out of YQQ due to the landing restrictions that were previously in effect,” he said last week. “But I can confidently say that we are once again one of the most reliable airports in the province.”

Bigelow understands the past frustrations felt by the local flying community and knows that there are some who have changed their travel routines because of it. The airport has launched a social media campaign to encourage local residents to share the information, and to win back any passengers the airport might have lost due to the former regulations.

“We know that there are some people who ‘voted with their feet’ so to speak – we know our passenger numbers have been affected,” he said. “What we want is to ensure that everyone knows about the new regulations.

“We are shouting our message from the rooftops. Whether you shout about it, talk about it or tweet about it,we are asking for your assistance to keep our airport contributing to Northern Vancouver Island’s bottom line.”

Bigelow’s confidence in the regulation improvements are iterated in the support shown by its largest business partner, Westjet, which is increasing its number of direct flights to and from Calgary in 2015. As of January, there will be one additional flight per day to Calgary (at 6 a.m.) as well as a 9:10 p.m. arrival from Calgary.

This new service ensures a minimum of three daily non-stop departures from Comox to Calgary at any time of the year.

“This additional year-round, daily flight to Calgary will open up about 14 WestJet markets that were previously not served from Comox in at least one direction, including popular sunspots like Varadero and Cabo San Lucas,” said Bigelow.

editor@comoxvalleyrecord.com

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A vial of Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a family doctor office, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021 in Paris. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP -Christophe Ena
Tentative COVID-19 vaccine site chosen in the Comox Valley

B.C. is moving into Phase 2 of its COVID-19 mass immunization plan

Cumberland is considering downtown densification proposals, and with that comes questions around parking, among other things. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Water bottling ban, parking key changes for Cumberland zoning

Bylaw on amendments still need adoption following March 2 hearing

Arzeena Hamir, working her booth at the Comox Valley Farmers Market. LUSH Valley was recognized last month as a partner of the year by the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets. Photo by Bill Jorgensen
LUSH Valley recognized for collaboration with Comox Valley Farmers’ Market

They won Partner of the Year award by the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets

Chelsea Harry was last seen Feb. 21. Photo via Comox Valley RCMP
Comox Valley RCMP seeking help locating a missing woman

Missing person last seen in Courtenay on Feb. 21

A Coast Range Cannabis store has been approved for the Crown Isle Shopping Centre in Courtenay. Photo submitted
Courtenay council approves seventh cannabis retailer

Coast Range Cannabis to open second store in the Comox Valley

Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Dr. Bonnie Henry pauses for a moment as she gives her daily media briefing regarding COVID-19 for British Columbia in Victoria, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
7 additional deaths and 542 new COVID-19 cases in B.C.

Provincial health officials reported 18 new COVID-19 cases linked to variants of concern

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

(Pxhere)
B.C. research reveals how pandemic has changed attitudes towards sex, health services

CDC survey shows that 35 per cent of people were worried about being judged

Some Canadians are finding butter harder than usual, resulting in an avalanche of social media controversy around #buttergate. (Brett Williams/The Observer)
#Buttergate: Concerns around hard butter hit small B.C. towns and beyond

Canadians find their butter was getting harder, blame palm oil in part one of this series

Construction takes place on Bamfield Main in early February 2021. (PHOTO COURTESY CTV NEWS)
Ongoing Bamfield roadwork unrelated to planned $30M fix

Construction by Mosaic unrelated to $30M upgrade ordered in wake of fatal bus crash

Preliminary design for a new composting facility at the Campbell River Waste Management Centre is ready to share with the public. Photo supplied
Facility to enable curbside organics collection in Comox Valley, Campbell River

The preliminary design for a new composting facility being built at the… Continue reading

The Regional District of Nanaimo’s board is forwarding a motion on illegal dumping to the Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities’ upcoming annual general meeting. (Kane Blake photo)
Island communities asked to join forces in seeking help fighting illegal dumping

RDN resolution to be forwarded to Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities

Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon speaks in the B.C. legislature, describing work underway to make a small business and tourism aid package less restrictive, Dec. 10, 2020. (Hansard TV)
B.C. extends deadline for tourism, small business COVID-19 grants

Business owners expect months more of lost revenues

Protestors against old growth logging gather in front of the courthouse in Victoria on Thursday morning. (Don Denton/Black Press Media)
Protesters gather at Victoria courthouse to oppose Port Renfrew logging

Logging company seeks injunction to remove blockades near its Port Renfrew operation

Most Read