If you haven’t paid a visit to Penticton Airport lately, you’ll be in for a surprise. Transport Canada, which owns and operates the airport, is wrapping up a multi-million-dollar renovation of the terminal. It’s bright and spacious, with panoramic views of the runway and modern finishings throughout.
Now, as flights return to our skies, this Love Local blog shines a light on all the reasons to love Penticton Airport.
1. Growing Up, Up and Away
Our local airport is growing up, last year attracting more than 160,000 travellers. And with this latest renovation and a new website soon coming out, people are going to take notice.
2. Location, Location
You can be at the airport within less than 15 minutes from anywhere in Penticton. This makes drop-offs or pickups a breeze. It’s also a short drive for travellers throughout the Okanagan, being 20 minutes from Summerland, 50 minutes from West Kelowna, 30 minutes from Oliver and 50 minutes from Osoyoos.
3. Room to Move
Thanks to the renovations, you’ll find bigger spaces and fewer flights than the international airports, so you can safely space out. You’ll also see the janitor cleaning high-touch points between flights.
4. Cheap Parking
How does $3/day sound? Also, the parking lot is right out front of the terminal, so you don’t have to walk far or catch transit to get to where you need to be.
5. Convenient Check-ins
Not only is it a short drive to the airport, but once you get there, there’s less scramble to get to your gate on time.
6. Touch Down Near the Beach
The landing approach at Penticton Airport has been compared to the likes of St. Maarten in the Caribbean, owing to one end of the runway being close to the beach. You’ll descend over Skaha Lake and Sudbury Beach before touching down on terra firma.
7. Community Feel
Fun fact: Of all the flights coming in and out of Penticton, nearly nine out of 10 times, the aircraft are wildfire and general aviation including personal aircraft. These include a mix of day-tripping private pilots, others are part of the flying club, helicopter school or other on-site aviation companies.
8. Direct Flights
Air Canada and WestJet offer direct flights to Vancouver or Calgary. You can leave the airport in the morning and be sitting in a boardroom meeting downtown before breakfast. Updated December 2020: Coming soon - direct flights from Penticton to Vancouver through Pacific Coastal Airlines.
9. Great for Tourism
Penticton Airport has long been a favourite among private pilots. It’s also attracting a growing number of charter flights
from Calgary and Vancouver, who come for weekends or longer stays. A 2019 survey about the airport found that 59.6% of respondents surveyed flew to or from Penticton for pleasure, as opposed to business, work or medical reasons.
10. They’re Fighting Fires and Training Pilots
This past summer, the reality of wildfires came too close to home. Thankfully, Penticton is the base for BC Wildfire Service response for the South Okanagan and East Kootenays. The airport is also home to a flying club, flight school and a helicopter school that is recognized around the world, among other aviation businesses.
New Website Coming Soon
The City is working on updating Penticton Airport’s website to ensure all travellers have access to up-to-date information. According to a recent news release, it’s also hoped the website will help put Penticton Airport on the radar for travellers interested in flying to and from the Okanagan.
The City has issued a feedback form to gather information from travellers, residents, pilots and other user groups to comment on what information they would like to see on the new website. You can fill out the survey before midnight on Tuesday, Nov. 10 at shapeyourcitypenticton.ca. This process follows up on last year’s Penticton Airport Flight Services Survey, in which residents were asked about specific travel habits and preferences.
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