Part of the Greenwood Forest Products exhaust system has been labelled an “obstacle” by Transport Canada resulting in a shortening of the Penticton Regional Airport runway. (Mark Brett - Western News)

Shortened south Okanagan runway may impact flight schedules

Transport Canada has shortened the Penticton airport runway which may impact some flight schedules

An obstacle at the north approach to Penticton Regional Airport resulted in a shortening of the runway by Transport Canada, which may result in delays and cancellations of flights at night and in poor weather.

While maintaining there are no safety concerns, Transport Canada said, as per regulations, a NOTAM (notice to airmen) was posted on the Nav Canada website of a displaced threshold (shortening) of about 470 feet of the 6,000-foot runway. Nav Canada is the private corporation that owns and operates the country’s civil air navigation systems.

The obstacle is listed by the federal agency as an “exhaust system attached to a mill” (Greenwood Forest Products).

“The shortened runway has impacts to specific navigational aids that affect some flights that arrive at night and during periods of poor weather,” wrote Transport Canada’s Alexandre Desjardins, senior communications advisor, media relations in an email to the Western News about the matter. “Transport Canada regrets any inconvenience this may cause to travellers, and ask for their co-operation and patience while we resolve this situation.

“As the operator of the Penticton Airport, the safety of the travelling public and aircraft crew members is a priority for Transport Canada.”

READ MORE: Penticton airport users vent on Air Canada schedule changes

While the exhaust system has been in place for a number of years, and Transport Canada said it has been working on a “long-term solution,” the issue came up again during a recent audit resulting in the decision to shorten the runway.

“Transport Canada has taken immediate action to address this, such as temporarily displacing the runway threshold. The department continues to review several long-term options regarding the obstacle issue, while also minimizing impacts to the airport users,” wrote Desjardins.

Both Air Canada Express – Jazz and WestJet Encore officials are aware of the situation and are taking the appropriate measures regarding their flights into Penticton until the matter is dealt with.

“At this time, WestJet Encore’s winter flight schedule remains unchanged, however, our day-to-day operations could be impacted should the weather change,” wrote WestJet’s Morgan Bell, advisor, media and public relations. “With the safety of our guests and crew as our highest priority, any weather could result in delays and cancellations into and out of Penticton.”

They currently have two flights a day between Calgary and Penticton until Oct. 14 when it goes down to one except on Mondays (two) until Oct. 20 when it will be once a day until April 25.

READ MORE: Airport upgrade delays undermining Penticton marketing efforts

Teri Udle, responded on behalf of Air Canada Jazz writing: “As a result of the NOTAM, there is potential for impact to Jazz’s Air Canada Express operation at YYF (Penticton). Safety is our top priority and we only operate where and when it is safe to do so.”

Jazz flights vary throughout the week, ranging between two and four trips daily including either one or two flights after dark, according to its schedule.

Transport Canada has indicated it will continue to review several long-term options regarding the obstacle issue while at the same time minimizing the impacts to airport user.

Meanwhile, Greenwood CEO Wade Walker declined to say whether or not the company is working with Transport Canada about the issue or comment on anything else in relation to the matter.


 

@PentictonNews
newstips@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.


 MarkBrett
Send Mark Brett an email.
Like the Western News on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.

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

 

A WestJet Bombardier Q400 NextGen Aircraft approaching Penticton Regional Airport. The Greenwood Forest Products exhaust system is being blamed for a shortening of the runway by Transport Canada and may result in cancellations and delays of flights at night or in poor weather. (Mark Brett - Western News)

Just Posted

Warm temperatures bring welcome news for Salmon Arm residents who use public washrooms

City plans to open remaining washrooms, playgrounds to remain closed

Provincial COVID-19 rules lead to closure of two Columbia Shuswap Regional District rec sites

CSRD parks not managed with Rec Sites and Trails BC remain open

Cougar caught on camera in Lake Country

A Lake Country resident caught a cougar prowling near their home

Too late for property tax adjustment from Columbia Shuswap Regional District

Timing of provincial deadlines eliminate option for tax relief in response to COVID-19

YMCA Okanagan offers care for children of essential service workers

Priority will be given to children aged 5 to 12 years old

UPDATE: Canadians awake to extra COVID-19 emergency benefit money, feds clarify changes

The CRA and federal officials are working to clarify the confusion around payments

Smiles, honks and waves as teachers stage parade for their students

Classrooms are closed, but kids and teachers manage to connect

B.C. sorting medical equipment sales, donation offers for COVID-19

Supply hub has call out for masks, gowns, coronavirus swabs

Summerland winery sold for $5.2 million

Property overlooking Okanagan Lake was on the market 160 days

B.C. records five more deaths due to COVID-19, 45 new cases

A total of 838 people have recovered from the virus

Easter Bunny added to B.C.’s list of essential workers

Premier John Horgan authorizes bunny to spread “eggs-ellent cheer” throughout province

Travellers returning to B.C. must have self-isolation plan or face quarantine: Horgan

Premier John Horgan says forms must be filled out by travellers

Major crimes investigating sudden death of North Okanagan child

The 8 year old was flown to Kelowna General Hospital and died hours later

Most Read