Interesting piece of news in the Business Examiner, by Steve Weatherbe: Lengthen it and they will come
The plan is to stretch Victoria’s runway and draw European flights
“If we build they will come,” says Terry Stewart, the Victoria Airport Authority’s director of operations and development, of plans afoot to extend the airport’s 7,000-ft. landing strip another 1,500 feet.
Long enough, says Stewart, for Boeing 767s or 787s to take off with 250-260 passengers and enough fuel to get to Europe.
“We could fly two or three planeloads to London out of here a week,” says Stewart. “If we make the field big enough, some airlines will see their opportunity.”
The idea is in the conceptual stage now, part of the renewing of the authority’s 20-year master plan. Public input is being sought, and a business case will follow.
Stewart says the extension will cost around $20 million. Funding support will be sought from provincial and federal governments, with the authority kicking in from its own sources: concessions, property rents, and the airport tax.
No land purchases will be necessary says Stewart. “Our footprint is big enough to accommodate this.”
What has held Victoria back so far is that it sits in the shadow of two air “superhubs,” he adds: Seattle and Vancouver. But they are getting crowded, and Victoria is getting big enough to fill bigger planes.
“Right now people are taking Horizon to Seattle and Jazz to Vancouver and switching planes,” he says, as well as BC Ferries to Vancouver.
A European-Victoria link can only enhance business and tourism traffic. BE
That's fine, and I'd love direct flights from Victoria to London. But I would also just add that direct flights from Victoria to San Jose airport in CA would do wonders for enhancing the high tech business climate on Southern Vancouver Island/ Greater Victoria -- which is something to focus on, given that high tech has overtaken tourism in economic terms.
BTW, does anyone know how to find Steve Weatherbe's editorials in Business Examiner, now that the website has a new (re)design? I was looking for it, as it was a pretty good one, but damned if it's on line... ??