Kelowna’s airport has become the 10th busiest airport in Canada.
Today, Kelowna International Airport released its final passenger numbers for 2018, with figures showing airport travel reaching an all-time high at YLW. In 2018, passengers totalled a record-breaking 2,080,372, a 31 per cent increase or more than 486,700 passengers compared to three years ago — becoming the 10th busiest airport in Canada, according to the airport’s news release.
“Surpassing two million passengers and reaching top 10 this past year are incredible accomplishments for YLW and the Okanagan,” said Sam Samaddar, airport director. “It’s an exciting time for YLW. We are in a period of tremendous growth and the increase in travellers translates directly to a boost in the economy and support for local businesses.”
Since 2015, YLW has experienced unprecedented passenger growth, which is driven partly by expanded air service and flight connectivity, population growth, and economic activity in the region.
To accommodate this exceptional growth, YLW is expanding the airport to better meet the needs of the growing region. Multi-year expansion plans include the largest terminal expansion to date, with a larger departures lounge, expanded security screening, and more food and beverage services.
Between 2019 and 2020, YLW plans to invest more than $240 million in new airport infrastructure and the rehabilitation of existing airport facilities. This investment has no impact on tax dollars, as it is funded through airport revenues and improvement fees.