Central Mountain Air ready to take flight at West Kootenay Regional Airport

Central Mountain Air CEO Bob Cummings (right) and Castlegar Mayor Bruno Tassone (left) celebrate the airline’s arrival in Castlegar. Photo: Betsy KlineCentral Mountain Air CEO Bob Cummings (right) and Castlegar Mayor Bruno Tassone (left) celebrate the airline’s arrival in Castlegar. Photo: Betsy Kline
Central Mountain Air is now flying out of Castlegar. Photo: Betsy KlineCentral Mountain Air is now flying out of Castlegar. Photo: Betsy Kline
The Beech 1900D features rows of single seats. Photo: Betsy KlineThe Beech 1900D features rows of single seats. Photo: Betsy Kline
Central Mountain Air CEO Bob Cummings. Photo: Betsy KlineCentral Mountain Air CEO Bob Cummings. Photo: Betsy Kline
Central Mountain Air’s Beech 1900D. Photo: Betsy KlineCentral Mountain Air’s Beech 1900D. Photo: Betsy Kline
The West Kootenay Regional Airport is ready for passengers again. Photo: Betsy KlineThe West Kootenay Regional Airport is ready for passengers again. Photo: Betsy Kline

Everything is ready at the West Kootenay Regional Airport for Central Mountain Air’s inaugural flight out of Castlegar.

Barriers are installed, signs are displayed, floor stickers indicate where people should stand and a Beech 1900D sits on the runway.

Central Mountain Air’s (CMA) first flight will take place Oct. 1, with daily flights to and from Vancouver to follow.

City officials, management and representatives from CMA were joined by the media Tuesday afternoon for a sneak peek at how things will run at the airport with a new airline and COVID-19 protocols in place in the terminal.

The changes start right at the door, with only one way in and one way out. Passengers are required to wear masks everywhere in the terminal building and non-passengers are asked to say their goodbyes outside.

Plexiglas barriers have been installed at the ticket counters and CMA and airport staff will be wearing masks.

Spaces have also been marked out at the luggage carousel to encourage social distancing and avoid the usual free-for-all luggage grab.

Another change at the airport is at the car rental counter where visitors will notice the absence of Budget Rent a Car and the addition of PractiCar.

On average, 75,000 passengers pass through the WKRA each year. But no commercial passenger flights have departed from the airport since Air Canada cancelled all of its flights back in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

RELATED: City of Castlegar revenues take a big hit in first half of 2020

CMA’s CEO Bob Cummings attended the event and said Castlegar city council has been great to work with.

“It’s great to have that kind of warmth and help,” said Cummings.

Cummings said he thinks his company will be able to offer a more reliable service than what Castlegar has seen in the past.

“Our flight leaving Vancouver and then doing a return back should mitigate some of the potential for weather to disrupt our service,” said Cummings.

“We try to be as absolutely as reliable as we can.”

Cummings told Castlegar News that the company has seen Castlegar as the right size centre for their company for quite some time, but as long as Air Canada was serving the market well expanding here wasn’t really an option.

Cummings said CMA is not ready to make a commitment as to how long they will continue to service Castlegar beyond the end of the year.

“We are focusing hard on the next three months and we will see how it goes,” he said.

Cummings also announced an introductory offer that will expire Friday, Oct. 2 at midnight. The code CASTLEGAR25 will get you a 25-per-cent discount on flights.



betsy.kline@castlegarnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Air Travelcastlegar

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

Just Posted

Nelson City Council heard a presentation on Nelson real estate prices from a representative of BC Assessment on Feb. 26. Photo: Bill Metcalfe
BC Assessment: High demand, low supply will continue in Nelson real estate

Nelson council heard local stats from the Crown corporation at a recent meeting

A nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
36 new cases of COVID-19, one death in Interior Health

The number of active cases in the region is at 366

Sherpas Cinema films Imagination in the West Kootenay. Photo: Jake Dyson
New Kootenay film commission unveiled

The Civic Theatre and Kootenay Rockies Tourism have partnered on the initiative

Jesse Teindl (left) is grateful for support in his fundraiser for research of a genetic disease that prematurely claimed the lives of his father Tim (right) and uncle Craig Teindl. Photo: Submitted.
Kootenay community steps up for Skinny Genes fundraiser

Fundraiser auction for rare genetic disease raises more than $10,000 for Skinny Genes Foundation

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the B.C. legislature press theatre to give a daily update on the COVID-19 pandemic, April 6, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. nears 300,000 COVID-19 vaccinations, essential workers next

564 new cases, four deaths, no new outbreaks Thursday

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

The B.C. Supreme Court ruled Feb. 26 that the estate of deceased Sooke man and Hells Angels prospect Michael Widner is to be divided between his wife and his secret spouse. (Black Press Media file photo)
Estate of deceased Vancouver Island Hells Angels prospect to be divided between wife and secret spouse

Michael Widner’s 2017 death left a number of unanswered questions

This Dec. 2, 2020 photo provided by Johnson & Johnson shows vials of its Janssen subsidiary’s COVID-19 vaccine in the United States. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Johnson & Johnson via AP
Canada approves Johnson & Johnson’s 1-shot COVID-19 vaccine

It is the 4th vaccine approved in Canada and the 1st that requires just a single dose

Walter Gretzky father of hockey hall-of-famer Wayne Gretzky waves to fans as the Buffalo Sabres play against the Toronto Maple Leafs during third period NHL hockey action in Toronto on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky, father of the Great One, dies at 82

Canada’s hockey dad had battled Parkinson’s disease and other health issues

Kelowna General Hospital (File photo)
Second death reported in Kelowna General Hospital COVID-19 outbreak

A total of seven cases have been identified at the hospital: six patients and one staff

Municipal Affairs Minister Josie Osborne speaks in the B.C. legislature, March 4, 2021. (Hansard TV)
B.C. Liberals, NDP sing in harmony on local election reforms

Bill regulates paid canvassers, allows people in condo buildings

(National Emergency Management Agency)
No tsunami risk to B.C. from powerful New Zealand earthquake: officials

An 8.1 magnitude earthquake shook the north of New Zealand Thursday morning

(AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)
Pandemic stress, isolation key factors as to why Canadians turned to cannabis, alcohol

Study found that isolation played key role in Canadians’ substance use

Most Read