Reliability rates are up so far this winter at the West Kootenay Regional Airport. Photo: Betsy Kline

Reliability rates are up so far this winter at the West Kootenay Regional Airport. Photo: Betsy Kline

Reliability rates rise at the West Kootenay Regional Airport

This winter sees more takeoffs and landings at Castlegar’s airport than last year

Reliability rates for the West Kootenay Regional Airport are looking a lot better this winter compared to last.

Takeoff and landing rates vary from year to year at Castlegar’s airport, mostly due to weather conditions in the fall and winter.

“Last year [2017] was a particularly bad year,” said Castlegar CAO Chris Barlow. “It’s mostly just Mother Nature that has that impact.”

Reliability rates for January 2019 were 65 per cent, up from only 51 per cent in January 2018.

Success rates for December 2018 were 76 per cent, up by 27 per cent over December 2017. Rates for November were 72 per cent, up 8 per cent over 2017. October rates were 88 per cent, down 6 per cent from 2017.

Included in the figures are non-weather-related cancellations such as mechanical issues that every airport deals with. Non-weather-related cancellations were 3.8 per cent in December and 2.9 percent in November. There were no cancellations in this category in October.

In December, 4,374 passengers passed through the airport. In November, there were 3,659 passengers and in October there were 7,115.

Historical reliability rates

December

2018 – 76%

2017 – 49%

2016 – 78%

2015 – 60%

November

2018 – 72%

2017 – 64%

2016 – 69%

2015 – 64%

October

2018 – 88%

2017 – 94%

2016 – 78%

2015 – 88%

Barlow said the city is working hard on improving airport reliability.

“We have had increased conversations with Air Canada to make sure they understand just how important reliability is to us,” he said.

“We know what we need to do to make this better. It is our number-one priority. We have funded it, we have resourced it and we are continuing to pursue it as hard as possible.”