Right off the top, there are no changes in security screening for flights departing from the Trail Regional Airport (YZZ).
There is, however, a change for passengers flying into Trail from the south terminal in Vancouver.
Those flights are now being handled as secured before departure, meaning, all persons, carry-ons and checked baggage will be subject to security screening.
“Due to limited unsecured gate access at the South Terminal at the Vancouver International Airport (YVR) we have made the decision for our flights departing to Trail (YZZ), to depart as a secured flight,” Pacific Coastal Airlines announced May 13.
“This will require customers to clear security at the South Terminal when traveling to Trail.”
The airline describes this change as temporary, though an end-date has yet to be determined.
“By departing through security we are also able to maintain a morning and afternoon flight departure time to provide options to our customers traveling to the West Kootenay.”
While it’s status quo as far as security measures at YZZ, staff have been tightening up certain operations these past six months following an incident that made national news in December.
As background, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) launched an investigation into a Dec. 12 “runway incursion” whereby an airport maintenance truck was on the runway at the same time a Pacific Coastal flight from YVR was landing.
Fortunately, the aircraft safely landed. But this near-miss warranted further scrutiny by the TSB, which is an independent agency that advances transportation safety by investigating conveyance occurrences via the air, marine, pipeline and rail.
As the city awaits the TSB’s final report and subsequent recommendations that are expected to take a year or longer, staff has already implemented a few changes.
“It was one of those accidents that should never have happened,” YZZ manager Robert Baker told the Trail Times, confirming a TSB representative was in Trail earlier this year.
“They looked at our day-to-day operations, watched what our staff was doing, what the airline was doing each day, and they listened in on the radio to see how communication went,” he explained. “They also looked to see how we analyzed the incident and corrections we were making to ensure it never happens again,” he said.
“So we tightened up on the little things, like adding additional radios.”
Next up on Baker’s to-do list however, is to make arrangements for wildfire season.
Over the past several years, by acting as a re-fueling site, YZZ has played an integral role in aerial firefighting efforts.
“We are just waiting to sign an agreement with the Southeast Fire Centre for providing fuel to their aircraft,” Baker said. “And it’s been a dry season, so we are all crossing our fingers that we get some rain here in the next month.”