The federal government has signed a 20-year lease so the City of Kelowna can continue to manage

The federal government has signed a 20-year lease so the City of Kelowna can continue to manage

Airport lease extended

City of Kelowna will continue with management, operation and development of the Kelowna International Airport.

A major transportation hub will keep flying.

The federal government announced  Wednesday that it’s extending the term of its lease with the City of Kelowna for the management, operation and development of the Kelowna International Airport.

The lease is being extended for an additional period of 20 years under existing conditions, and will now expire Dec. 31, 2054.

“The Kelowna International Airport is a vital transportation link in the southern interior of B.C. and its value extends to all sectors of the economy,” said Ron Cannan, Kelowna-Lake Country MP, during a ceremony.

“I am pleased to provide this 20-year lease extension which means continued prosperity for the airport, its passengers and businesses and communities in the surrounding region.”

This lease amendment will allow the City of Kelowna to invest in airport infrastructure and capital projects on airport lands that require more than 20 years to realize sufficient return on investment.

“This 20-year lease extension is so important for the entire Okanagan region,” said Colin Basran, Kelowna mayor.

“With security until 2054, the airport will be able to attract long-term business partners and development projects, and increase the positive economic impact that YLW has on the community.”

Kelowna International Airport was built and operated by the City of Kelowna until it was transferred to Transport Canada in 1959 and was immediately leased back to the City of Kelowna under a long-term lease.

YLW’s total economic impact is 2,730 jobs and $610 million in total economic output to B.C.

Serving 1.6 million passengers in 2014, YLW offers 66 daily non-stop commercial flights with six airlines to Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Seattle, Victoria, Prince George, Edmonton, Cranbrook, Whitehorse and Fort McMurray, plus seasonal service to Las Vegas, Phoenix, Los Cabos, Puerto Vallarta, Ixtapa/Zihautanejo, Cancun and Varadero.