The airport could be more of an economic driver for the area if flights to Kelowna could be arranged, one resident told the Village of Montrose council Tuesday night.
Mario Como asked council to muster support from neighbouring municipal councils to petition Pacific Coastal to consider offering daily flights to Kelowna, in addition to their regular service to Vancouver.
“It’s just not going to take the Village of Montrose, it’s going to be Trail, Fruitvale and (regional district) area A and B as well,” he said in the delegation portion of council’s regular meeting.
He said if council began to lobby Pacific Coastal to bring flights from Trail into Kelowna, it could open up “eastern” markets in Alberta and the U.S., and benefit people who have to travel to Kelowna for medical reasons.
“I don’t think council has ever discussed it because Pacific Coastal would come to us if they thought it was viable,” said Mayor Joe Danchuck.
He said Pacific Coastal had looked at offering flights outside of the Lower Mainland when SC Lavalin began construction on the Waneta Dam expansion project, but there was not enough of a business case to move forward.
Como realized that, but he was hoping to get council to turn up the heat on the idea.
“Pacific Coastal has to make a business decision on their part, whether they can make any money at it, that’s the key,” said Mayor Danchuck.
“So, I can’t answer that at this point. First we have to investigate it and find out where that stands.”
Coun. Don Culos said later an airport master plan meeting revealed there was some movement to upgrade the airport, with a $1.5 million push being considered to expand the airport’s runway.
“But it’s a fair chunk of money to land in Kelowna,” he told council about Como’s idea.
“There would be a lot of hurdles to jump through.”