The West Kootenay Regional Airport Advisory Committee has announced an increase in the summer passenger service of Jazz Air, to better meet the needs of the travelling public in the West Kootenay region.
Jazz Air will now provide four flights a day, seven days a week from the West Kootenay Regional Airport in Castlegar and will be using bigger aircraft.
“The schedule changed May 1,” said Castlegar Mayor Lawrence Chernoff, who was reached by telephone. “The big change here is in the number of passengers they are able to carry now, because they are using the Dash 300. It’s really 400 passengers per day if they went to capacity.”
Chernoff said the next step is to continue long-term discussions with Air Canada.
“We really want to maintain that partnership because they’ve been here since 1985 and they are long-term corporate citizens of the community,” he said. “We want to maintain that level of reliability to the community.”
Chernoff added having four flights a day out of Castlegar, one to Calgary and three to Vancouver, is a good step forward.
“We’re trying to move people and trying to make it efficient,” he said.
The advisory committee also noted Jazz Air flight rates were within pennies of its local competitor and that it was much easier to go through security here locally than having to deplane in Vancouver and cross the runway to go through Vancouver airport security to carry on with flights elsewhere.
In an earlier release, Chernoff stated: “With our new terminal upgrades and by Jazz increasing its service, the West Kootenay Regional Airport is continuing to fulfill its mandate as the region’s major airport that handles 70,000 passenger movements a year for our region.”