Our Kelowna International Airport (YLW) has come a long way over the past few years, combining growth in the Okanagan Valley, additions to the airport, revitalization plans and lengthening of the runway.
Due to YLW's unprecedented growth, a Master Plan was required to aid in keeping the airport at modern traffic handling standards. In 2008, the airport lengthened the single runway to 8,900 ft (2,700 m), and plans to lengthen to 10,000 ft (3,000 m) by 2025. Also, there are plans for the passenger terminal to be expanded so as to allow hourly processing of 680 passengers by 2015, and 900 passengers by 2025. Currently, the hourly rate is approximately 400 passengers. In order to do this, the terminal size will be nearly doubled, and a 2,400 space parkade will be constructed.
The Kelowna International Airport operates scheduled air sevice to the major hub airports of Vancouver, Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton,Victoria, Los Angeles, and Seattle, as well as less frequent seasonal service to Cancún, Puerto Vallarta, Los Cabos, Mazatlan, Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo, Phoenix, and Las Vegas. Additionally, there is regular service to Whitehorse, Abbotsford, Red Deer, Kamloops, Prince George and Cranbrook, as well as scheduled charter service to major oilfield centres such as Fort McMurray. Currently, the airport handles up to 36 commercial departures a day, or approximately 210 departures per week. The airport is now the 10th busiest airport in Canada with traffic increasing virtually every year and is one of the fastest growing aiports in North America.
As of September, 2013, Kelowna International Airport has surpassed the one millionth passenger mark for 2013 - the earliest in its history - and it is expected to surpass 2012's record of 1.44 million passengers. With new flights and destinations, more people are being brought to the Okanagan and its surrounding area and those living in BC's Southern Interior are gaining more destinations to visit every year.
To learn more about information on winter and sun destinations, both to and from the Okanagan, visit the airport's official website at ylw.kelowna.ca.