New road connecting Rutland to YLW will be named in honor of former Kelowna City Councillor
The City of Kelowna will honour former City Councillor, MLA and MP Al Horning with a future road named for him at Kelowna International Airport.
YLW is seen as a fitting location to commemorate Horning, given his many contributions to the expansion of the airport throughout his career as an elected official.
“Al Horning is the epitome of a community builder. Serving his community in many ways – from Parliament Hill to the ball diamonds of Rutland – Al has spent his entire life working to improve his neighbourhood and his city,” said Mayor Tom Dyas.
His long-term impact on the airport was cemented with his lobbying for federal approval and funds to extend the runway at YLW in 1990 to 7,300 feet from 5,300 feet. This was an important strategic advantage for air service because it made Kelowna’s runway as the longest in the Interior.
“Al was a tremendous supporter of the airport and one of those political leaders who did not take no for an answer,” said Airport Director Sam Samaddar. “WestJet started service in Kelowna in 1996 because of that longer runway, which resulted in phenomenal passenger growth and put YLW on the trajectory to becoming the 10th busiest airport in the country.”
The future road at the airport will connect the south end of the road to Rutland, the area the Horning family has called home for decades.
When he wasn’t working, Horning was a champion snowmobile racer and founding member of the Kelowna Snowmobile Association. His summers were usually spent on the ball diamonds. He and other baseball players built King Stadium with volunteer labour after convincing the City to provide them with the land.
For these and other contributions to sport in Kelowna, Horning was inducted into the Central Okanagan Sports Hall of Fame in 2021. He credited his late wife of nearly 60 years, Donna, for supporting his work in business, politics and sport throughout their lives together, including raising their children Robert, Bradley and Sandra.
His political career spanned local, provincial and federal arenas – a rare feat and a testament to his popularity with the citizens of Kelowna and his beloved Rutland neighbours.
The graduate of Rutland Secondary School went on to attend the University of British Columbia and was elected to Kelowna City Council from 1980 to 1988, when he was chosen by voters to represent Kelowna as a Member of Parliament in Ottawa.
He was returned to his local government roots in 2002, serving Kelowna citizens before his election as a Member of the Legislative Assembly in Victoria.
He retired from politics in 2009, but never retired from serving his community in any way he could.