The Kelowna Flying Club (KFC) and the Kelowna International Airport (YLW) have signed a 30-year sublease that will provide the club and its members a platform to invest $5 million into expanding the number of private aircraft accommodations at the airport in 2022.
The club made the announcement on Friday (Nov. 26), where they revealed that the project will result in a 64 per cent increase in the number of private aircraft accommodations on the 5.5-acre general aviation parking area, located adjacent to Airport Way.
“We’ll increase the number of parking slots from 54 to 88 — all of them paved,” said Richard Visscher, KFC member and retired engineer.
“Forty-two will be under roof, with the remaining 46 available for parking both resident and itinerant aircraft.”
The investment is designed to expand the use of the airport and attract not only tourists but other visiting aircraft to the Okanagan Valley.
The club said that it will supply additional parking, hangarage and aviation fuel services for local pilots, as well as for those who want to fly into the region from across Canada and the U.S.
According to the group, the project is being funded entirely by private money from its members and will produce over $150 million in financial benefits to YLW, the City of Kelowna and the region over the course of its 30-year term.
“We could not have brought this project to fruition without the close support and encouragement of YLW Management,” said Joe Rogers, KFC director and member of the Project Team.
“We are looking forward to continuing our close working relationships with YLW management during the construction phase early next year, and thereafter when KFC assumes responsibility for operating these expanded services to general aviation.”
As a registered BC Society, the KFC said that it will operate the venture principally with volunteers on a not-for-profit basis. The group added that all earnings from operations will go towards benefiting the general aviation community, with particular emphasis on encouraging young people into aviation.