COPA Flight 36 – Kelowna Flying Club (KFC) is launching an ambitious series of initiatives to revitalize private/general aviation at their home airport (CYLW), located in the heart of British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley. The city-owned facility has experienced tremendous success in building a viable international airport, however the ‘little guys’ are feeling squeezed out.
Those who flew to Kelowna airport for the 2017 COPA Convention and AGM would have noticed how busy that airport was, with several passenger and courier airlines constantly flying in and out, and with a busy flight school thrown in the mix.
The fly-in members might have noticed a few light aircraft parked in a small tie-down zone located far from the terminal area. They almost certainly would not have noticed KFC’s tiny clubhouse near those tie-downs.
Enter the Kelowna Flying Club, led by club president Dave McElroy (also one of COPA’s two B.C. and Yukon directors).
“There has been a marked shortage of sufficient parking and hangarage facilities at YLW for many years,” said McElroy. “This airport now sees over two million passengers a year and 70 commercial flights daily, surpassing Victoria airport and making it one of Canada’s top 10 busiest airports.”
The KFC is working with YLW’s management team to triple itinerant paved parking spots and increase residential tie-downs by over 50 percent in 2019. Over the next two years, the club also intends to construct 20 to 30 affordable hangars and build a new half-million-dollar ‘COPA Flight 36 Clubhouse’.
“We’re meeting later this month with YLW’s management team to discuss the turning over of the tie-down zone to COPA Flight 36 to manage,” said McElroy. “But we need to rally more support from the broader GA community if we are to be successful at helping YLW to evolve into a great GA destination airport.”
McElroy invites readers of this newsletter who would consider flying into the Kelowna airport if there were more GA facilities to click on this email address and send him a short note saying where you are based and, if applicable what aircraft you fly.