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Westjet Decision is Monday

South Okanagan topics including Summerland, Naramata, Penticton, Okanagan Falls, Oliver, Osoyoos, and Keremeos.

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Re: Westjet Decision is Monday

Postby fluffy » Feb 11th, 2013, 10:25 am

It will come when demand for traffic warrants it. The big complaint is that all service out of Penticton heads to Vancouver, whether you are ultimately heading east or not. It is still possible to get connections east out of Vancouver that don't mean hugely extended flight times, and you don't have to deal with the drive to the Kelowna airport and the parking fees. I'm looking at commuting between here and Fort McMurray for a while, and I don't see flying out of Penticton as a huge inconvenience. Westjet rates on average offer cheaper flights than Air Canada but a little shopping can get a comparable rate out of here.

Business is business. If there was enough demand for eastbound flights out of Penticton they'd be here. It has been tried before and it didn't pay.
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Re: Westjet Decision is Monday

Postby GEW » Feb 11th, 2013, 12:12 pm

Spocky, I'm sorry but I don't think that the airport should be turned into residential housing just because wj isn't coming. It has a water bomber base and a brand new helicopter training facility that pumps a lot of money into the city. Not to mention air Canada and charter services which is better than nothing. What would be accomplished by turning the airport into housing- which is already over saturated in this market.
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Re: Westjet Decision is Monday

Postby Anonymous123 » Feb 11th, 2013, 12:23 pm

It is not uncommon for people to travel an hour or more to get to the airport down in the Lower Mainland. Here in the Okanagan, we tend to complain if we have to travel more than 30 minutes out of our way.
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Re: Westjet Decision is Monday

Postby fluffy » Feb 11th, 2013, 12:31 pm

I used to commute between Penticton and Summerland, all of ten minutes. People would still ask how I felt about driving "all that way" every day. Sheesh, down at the coast if you're under an hour you consider yourself lucky. I figure flying out of Penticton will be okay, at worst I might just have to get Netflix on my phone.
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Re: Westjet Decision is Monday

Postby Spocky » Feb 11th, 2013, 3:12 pm

GEW wrote:Spocky, I'm sorry but I don't think that the airport should be turned into residential housing just because wj isn't coming. It has a water bomber base and a brand new helicopter training facility that pumps a lot of money into the city. Not to mention air Canada and charter services which is better than nothing. What would be accomplished by turning the airport into housing- which is already over saturated in this market.


Granted, but let's consider each aspect:

1) Air Canada gives you a choice of YVR, YVR or YVR. No big loss if it's gone considering it's an hour to YLW where you can fly nonstop to LA, let alone just about anywhere else you'd care to go from here.
2) Water bombers don't require the long runway at YYF. IMHO Oliver could be easily modded to fit a regional water bomber centre.
3) Charter services are great if you're a millionaire. I'm not and most of the S. Okanagan's population isn't either, so why should so many people put up with something that is the primary purview of the super-rich?
4) Helicopters are VTOL so they could be used anywhere there's a reasonable flat spot, it doesn't have to be even 1/10th the size of YYF.

The sheer acreage taken up by that severely underutilized airport would be better used as anything else especially in the S. Okanagan where big flat spaces which haven't been built over are very hard to find. The land value of YYF alone is in the tens of millions of dollars. Right now IMHO it's a total waste of space.
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Re: Westjet Decision is Monday

Postby XT225 » Feb 11th, 2013, 3:46 pm

Spocky, you are incorrect. Waterbombers such as have been flying out of Penticton require a LOT of runway; sometimes almost the entire 6000 feet, when fully loaded. The old DC6 used to barely clear the fence as I recall. Even the Lockheed Electra bomber that was here last year needs a good amount of runway for takeoffs. Kelowna cannot handle the amount of waterbomber traffic in Summer. Oliver? Not a chance; far too short a runway; only 3200 feet in length and expanding Olivers runway would likely take years due to ALR restrictions. Plus, we have a good Air tanker and Forestry base right here; moving it makes no sense.

With the decision by Westjet to bypass Penticton, it strenthens my plans to use Air Canada even more often, even if I have to fly to Vancouver in order to go Eastward. I was pricing out a trip for this year to Ottawa and I can fly cheaper on Air Canada, right from Penticton thru VYR than I can with Westjet out of Kelowna, plus parking is much cheaper here. I vow to keep my dollars right here supporting the local economy as much as possible. Air Canada is adding yet another flight to YVR starting in May and if enough people use AC it can only help the chances of them running planes eastward from here eventually. I say to heck with Westjet and YLW.
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Re: Westjet Decision is Monday

Postby fluffy » Feb 11th, 2013, 5:29 pm

Spocky wrote:The sheer acreage taken up by that severely underutilized airport would be better used as anything else especially in the S. Okanagan where big flat spaces which haven't been built over are very hard to find. The land value of YYF alone is in the tens of millions of dollars. Right now IMHO it's a total waste of space.


Here's a thought to add to that. The land the airport sits on was expropriated from the PIB in order to build the airport, and should it come to the point where the airport is no longer needed it only makes sense that the land should be returned to the original owners.
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Re: Westjet Decision is Monday

Postby Tony » Feb 11th, 2013, 6:12 pm

-fluffy- wrote:Here's a thought to add to that. The land the airport sits on was expropriated from the PIB in order to build the airport, and should it come to the point where the airport is no longer needed it only makes sense that the land should be returned to the original owners.



Fluffy - sorry to correct, but the land wasn't expropriated. It was bought and paid for, twice actually. This is federal land, free and clear.
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Re: Westjet Decision is Monday

Postby Anonymous123 » Feb 11th, 2013, 6:32 pm

-fluffy- wrote:Here's a thought to add to that. The land the airport sits on was expropriated from the PIB in order to build the airport, and should it come to the point where the airport is no longer needed it only makes sense that the land should be returned to the original owners.


Tony wrote:Fluffy - sorry to correct, but the land wasn't expropriated. It was bought and paid for, twice actually. This is federal land, free and clear.


Tony, Fluffy is correct and you are partly correct. See links below.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penticton_Regional_Airport

http://www.cyyf.ca/history.htm
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Re: Westjet Decision is Monday

Postby dreamon » Feb 11th, 2013, 6:39 pm

Spocky wrote:Granted, but let's consider each aspect:

1) Air Canada gives you a choice of YVR, YVR or YVR. No big loss if it's gone considering it's an hour to YLW where you can fly nonstop to LA, let alone just about anywhere else you'd care to go from here.
2) Water bombers don't require the long runway at YYF. IMHO Oliver could be easily modded to fit a regional water bomber centre.
3) Charter services are great if you're a millionaire. I'm not and most of the S. Okanagan's population isn't either, so why should so many people put up with something that is the primary purview of the super-rich?
4) Helicopters are VTOL so they could be used anywhere there's a reasonable flat spot, it doesn't have to be even 1/10th the size of YYF.

The sheer acreage taken up by that severely underutilized airport would be better used as anything else especially in the S. Okanagan where big flat spaces which haven't been built over are very hard to find. The land value of YYF alone is in the tens of millions of dollars. Right now IMHO it's a total waste of space.


1). YVR is a major hub from where you can fly to pretty much anywhere with non stop or one stop. It makes nothing but sense for AC to service YVR ex YYF. Do often fly this route? It is an excellent service that is well utilised, hence AC not only staying here but boosting capacity by 33% with an additional flight. The people who fly out of YYF do NOT want to fly out of YVR. Flying out of YLW is an inconvenience when one is used to YYF.

2). As XT225 has already mentioned, Oliver is not long enough. Even of Oliver was long enough, the approach and departure are not satisfactory with the sloping terrain. Having flown in and out of Oliver lots, I know this first hand.

3). So because you cannot afford charter flights, and you believe others in the SO can't, we shouldn't offer a runway? Really?
You would be very surprised just how many people around here can afford charter service and use it.
You have also left out the GA market that contributes 1000s of takeoffs and landings each year.

4). Part of Canadian Helicopters training is to have pilots fly in airspace with other aircraft, circuit patterns etc. This would be lost.
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Re: Westjet Decision is Monday

Postby dreamon » Feb 11th, 2013, 6:42 pm

Westjet's decision to not include Penticton in their first go round, pardon the pun, is not surprising.
FSJ is a much better choice for them.
Remember though that this will be a growing network for Westjet. They are starting off with two aircraft and building from there.
Penticton should keep the pressure on.
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Re: Westjet Decision is Monday

Postby nepal » Feb 11th, 2013, 6:44 pm

Air Canada continues to provide the South Okanagan excellent Dash8-300 service at Penticton YYF. :skippingsheep:
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Re: Westjet Decision is Monday

Postby dreamon » Feb 11th, 2013, 6:54 pm

nepal wrote:Air Canada continues to provide the South Okanagan excellent Dash8-300 service at Penticton YYF. :skippingsheep:


I'm not sure that I would place bone shaking, ear drum smashing Dash 8 and the word excellent in the same sentence, but yes I am appreciative of the service.
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Re: Westjet Decision is Monday

Postby Spocky » Feb 12th, 2013, 4:22 am

dreamon wrote:
1). YVR is a major hub from where you can fly to pretty much anywhere with non stop or one stop. It makes nothing but sense for AC to service YVR ex YYF. Do often fly this route? It is an excellent service that is well utilised, hence AC not only staying here but boosting capacity by 33% with an additional flight. The people who fly out of YYF do NOT want to fly out of YVR. Flying out of YLW is an inconvenience when one is used to YYF.

2). As XT225 has already mentioned, Oliver is not long enough. Even of Oliver was long enough, the approach and departure are not satisfactory with the sloping terrain. Having flown in and out of Oliver lots, I know this first hand.

3). So because you cannot afford charter flights, and you believe others in the SO can't, we shouldn't offer a runway? Really?
You would be very surprised just how many people around here can afford charter service and use it.
You have also left out the GA market that contributes 1000s of takeoffs and landings each year.

4). Part of Canadian Helicopters training is to have pilots fly in airspace with other aircraft, circuit patterns etc. This would be lost.


1) YYF is an hour's drive from a real international airport. If you've ever lived in a large city you'd know that living just an hour away from the airport is considered a plus.

2) No, I have never flown into Oliver but I lived there. Sloping terrain? On the sides of the valley, sure, but north to south, Oliver is a pancake from Vaseux Lake to the border! As for taking land out of the ALR, that's done on a regular basis to make penny ante developers happy, so it could certainly be done for something as critical as water bombers.

3) I do NOT think that the citizenry at large should be inconvenienced or faced with financial burdens just so a handful of wealthy individuals can charter a plane to Salmon Arm instead of taking a two hour drive. And I've never said that Penticton shouldn't have a small GA airport, just not a large commercial one!

4) There's lots of airports throughout BC, so the chopper guys have to fly here?

All told, I'm even more convinced than ever that (again IMHO) YYF is a giant waste of space which duplicates services and holds back the real estate development of Penticton as a whole and it would be better off as a residential, commercial, industrial development.
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Re: Westjet Decision is Monday

Postby fluffy » Feb 12th, 2013, 7:57 am

Spocky wrote:All told, I'm even more convinced than ever that (again IMHO) YYF is a giant waste of space which duplicates services and holds back the real estate development of Penticton as a whole and it would be better off as a residential, commercial, industrial development.


And with all the growth that brings we'd soon be in need of stuff like a bigger hospital, more schools, maybe an airport?
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