YLW receives millions in federal funding


Kelowna International Airport is receiving over $18 million in funding for key infrastructure projects and operational support. YLW welcomes the announcement from the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Omar Alghabra, and the Minister of International Development and the Minister for Pacific Economic Development Canada, the Honourable Harjit Sajjan, that the federal government is providing $15.2 million funding from Transport Canada’s Airport Critical Infrastructure Program to support infrastructure projects: 

·         Combined Operations Building  

·         Airport Terminal Building Roof Replacement 

·         Airport Biosecurity Infrastructure 

·         Runway End Safety Area  

·         Airfield Lighting and Support Infrastructure 

Along with the announcement for the critical infrastructure projects, the Government of Canada is also providing more than $3 million from Transport Canada’s Airport Relief Fund. This will provide funding to maintain continued airport operations and essential air services for residents and workers in Kelowna and surrounding communities. 

“We are very appreciative to receive this funding from the federal government as it will be critical in the recovery and future growth of YLW,” said Sam Samaddar, Airport Director. “Investing in this airport infrastructure now is essential for our long-term growth plan. As a regional economic hub, the capacity of YLW is vital to support flights to move people and goods throughout the Okanagan region and beyond.”  

The aviation sector is essential for Canada’s post-pandemic recovery of revenue generation for local businesses, maintaining and creating jobs for residents, and encouraging investment in the local community. The Okanagan is a land-locked region, making air access even more vital to aid in the movement of goods and services. 

“For 75 years, YLW has played a critical role in supporting the economic development of our region and airport investments like this will help ensure future growth,” said Kelowna Mayor Basran. “City partnership with other levels of government is necessary to stimulate the economic recovery from COVID-19.”  
Additional Quotes  

“As we move forward with the safe and gradual return of activity in the aviation sector in a way that continues to support the health, safety, and security of all Canadians, it will be imperative that we continue to ensure a vibrant and competitive Canadian air sector. These critical investments will allow the Kelowna International Airport to invest in the infrastructure and tools needed to help re-invigorate the aviation industry and allow Canadians to feel safe and secure when they travel.”  

The Honourable Omar Alghabra  
Minister of Transport 


“The Kelowna International Airport keeps British Columbia connected. By investing in critical transportation infrastructure projects, we are enhancing airport safety for travellers, air crews, and airport workers. This continued support will fund important upgrades while creating jobs, bolstering the regional economy as we recover from the effects of the pandemic and look to grow economically after a year of extreme weather in British Columbia.”  

The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan  
Minister of International Development and the Minister for Pacific Economic Development Canada 

Combined Operations Building  
$7.1 million 

The Combined Operations Building (COB) is critical to house all the people and infrastructure required to provide emergency and maintenance services at YLW. The ultimate benefit will be improved efficiencies in aircraft rescue, firefighting and operational responses to ensure the highest safety standards. The Airport Operations Centre will be strategically located to maximize visibility to airside surfaces which will assist in providing efficient and timely responses. An Emergency Coordination Centre will be housed adjacent to the Operations Centre to ensure efficient emergency communication. 


Airport Terminal Building Roof Replacement  

As critical airport infrastructure, the public, employees and airport equipment at YLW are protected from the elements by the ATB roof. As most of the roof has reached the end of its useful life, YLW embarked upon a multi-year project to replace the existing ATB roof with a higher insulation value assembly thus making it more energy efficient and providing the additional benefit of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The project demonstrates environmental leadership in the Okanagan and aligns with the Federal government’s commitment to meet its net-zero emissions target by 2050. 


Airport Biosecurity Infrastructure  
$2.7 million 

The Biosecurity Testing Facility project will invest in infrastructure that will enable onsite testing to address the risks of introduction and transmission of COVID-19 and future viruses to passengers, employees and the community. In addition this will improve the passenger experience moving through the airport with improved signage, flow and baggage handling. Ultimately, this project will enable economic and physical recovery from the air travel restrictions associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. 


Runway End Safety Area  
$4.5 million 

The project will design and construct the Runway End Safety Area (RESA) at runways 16 and 34 in compliance with  federal regulation.  The Canadian Aviation Regulations require Canadian-certified aerodromes handling over 325,000 passengers per year on scheduled commercial air carriers to extend their current runway end safety area to a minimum of 150 metres at either end of the runway. 

Airfield Lighting and Support Infrastructure  
$120, 000 

The purpose of this project is to complete an airfield lighting feasibility assessment and design for an upgrade to the current airfield lighting systems and supporting infrastructure for Runway 16/34. The airfield lighting systems, a critical safety component of operating a safe and efficient airport.