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West Kootenay Regional Airport fees increase

Be prepared to pay more for parking at the West Kootenay Regional Airport as Castlegar City Council votes to increase fees.

Airport Manager, Maciej Habrych, says the airport hasn’t reviewed their fees since 2007, specifically post COVID, and with growing operational costs and inflation, changes must be made.

“The airport, as a whole, is a very high fixed cost to operate,” said Maciej Habrych.

“We understand the fees increasing is not welcome news, but the way we’re looking at this is with the anticipated increase in demand, there’s a significant increase in operational costs, so we are positioning the airport to remain financially viable from any taxation at the city level, to ensure that we provide the best service for the region that utilises the airport.”

Daily rates will increase from $8 to $10, weekly rates will increase from $50 to $55, and monthly rates will increase from $195 to $200, while hourly rates will remain the same, which Haybrych says matches industry standard for comparable airports.

On top of parking fees, there will also be an increase to landing and terminal access fees for carriers.

“Those fees are based off weights of aircraft, and commercial aircraft operating in and out of the airport.”

“Those are increasing over a five -year cycle for business planning purposes for airlines to project ahead.”

Council will make the final adoption of the new fee bylaw in next months council meeting.

Free Cancellation Shuttle continues

On a good note, Habrych says Air Canada will continue their flight cancellation shuttle bus service for another year, following the success of the pilot-program.

“Air Canada has extended the bus service for another year ending at the end of April 2025, with intent to carry that on now, starting immediately all the way through next winter season.” said Haybrych.

“We encourage all passengers who are looking ahead for their travel patterns, that they know that this is an option going forward specifically in the winter operations.”

And there is more good news to come, watch this space.

“I can share we are working on providing the region with an update on the airport projects and the exciting initiatives we have going on.” said Habrych.

“We’re just working through those details now, but you can expect an update in the near term with exciting news at the airport.”

Something going on in your part of the Kootenays you think people should know about? Send us a news tip by emailing [email protected].

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