Businesses asked to complete airport survey

Castlegar is asking regional businesses for input on how they use the West Kootenay Regional Airport.

The City of Castlegar has initiated an Air Market Analysis of the West Kootenay region. The study will analyze how people use the West Kootenay Regional Airport (WKRA) and other airports to travel to and from the region.

“We are working to provide the information that air carriers need,” said Castlegar Mayor Lawrence Chernoff in a press release. “The city wants to provide data rather than conjecture.”

An initial step in the project is surveying regional businesses with an on-line survey. Working with chambers of commerce and other organizations in the West Kootenay, a survey link is being forwarded to businesses and government organizations to understand how they use air services in the region. The survey is going out to businesses within an area that spans from Midway to Creston and from Nakusp to Rossland.

The survey is basically looking at the business sector to see what type of trips are currently done, where they go and how they get there. Castlegar CAO John Malcolm explained, “It is a piece of work that the city is doing in its continuing efforts to improve air service to the West Kootenay region.”

“We are evaluating the potential for generating new business trips out of the West Kootenay,” said Malcolm. “We will evaluate the information and it becomes part of a tool kit in dealing with the airlines in terms of expanding or creating new air service here.”

The survey asks businesses questions such as their number of employees, number annual trips from their office, which regional airports they use for air trips, and if services to WKRA were improved how many more flights per year would they book or how many road trips would they change to air trips. The final question asks, “If you could change three things at WKRA, what would they be?” Participants have until the end of November to complete the survey.