Northwest Regional Airport manager Carman Hendry. (Quinn Bender photo)

Northwest Regional Airport says ridership extremely low amid COVID-19

The airport has enacted enhanced sanitary measures and reduced flights

Despite recently becoming the northwestern flight hub following a number of airport closures for the region, the manager for Northwest Regional Airport (YXT) says both air and passenger traffic is extremely low.

As of Mar. 24, Carman Hendry said the airport had seen a 50 per cent reduction in total flights. He adds that current passenger numbers are extremely low.

“[We had] an aircraft that takes 78 passengers, we were down to four passengers one flight the other day,” Hendry said, adding that the airport will eventually be moving to only two specific flight times a day. “Basically what’s happening is people are coming home and people are going home.”

Hendry said in response to COVID-19 the airport has enacted a number of enhanced sanitation measures. This includes increasing their janitorial services so they can be running while the airport is operating. There has been a concerted effort towards touch points such as door handles, flush knobs, railings and push buttons.

READ MORE: Air Canada to suspend flights to all Northwest airports except Terrace

As part of the above measures YXT is also asking anyone who is dropping off or picking someone up from the airport to stay out of the terminal to try and increase available space between individuals using the airport.

While Hendry noted the airport can’t remove all its seating options he said they are encouraging people to respect social distancing and to sit multiple seats apart on the airport’s benches. So far, it seems to be working.

“I did notice that [Tuesday] out in the terminal building that there were people sitting on the benches, but they were two or three seats apart from each other,” he said.

He said that as people head home he expects ridership numbers will drop even more. For now, YXT will do all it can to try and keep conditions as sanitary as possible.

“As the crisis continues people will eventually be where they have to be … but in the mean time we do have provide some way for people to get home.”

While ridership rates have dropped, it appears prices have remained relatively static. A search of a number of websites which sell plane tickets indicates prices for a round trip out of YXT to Vancouver International Airport are still hovering at just under $400.

YXT became the northwestern flight hub after Air Canada made the decision on March 19 to suspend flights to Prince Rupert, Smithers and Sandspit in an attempt to mitigate COVID-19 spread. All those flights are scheduled to resume May 1.



trevor.hewitt@interior-news.com
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19 highlights lack of connectivity in First Nations communities

Many don’t have access required to utilize online platforms, says First Nations Technology Council

Salmon closures announced for Skeena and Nass watersheds

DFO notice expands on May 21 chinook ban throughout Skeena watershed

New traffic lanes for Six Mile west of Burns Lake coming soon

Construction to begin on lane extension and traffic improvement

Chamber names new board for 2020

And emphasizes that Houston is open for business

Houston to host high speed electric vehicle charging station

It will be installed and paid for by BC Hydro

Only four new COVID-19 cases, 228 active across B.C.

Health officials watching as activities ramp up

Feds looking at ways to reunite families amid COVID-19 border restrictions with U.S.

Some families with members of dual-citizenship have become separated due to the pandemic

Condition in kids with possible COVID-19 link being studied in Canada

This month, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an alert to doctors about MIS-C

‘I knew what he wanted’: Kootenay man spends hours in tree as black bear patrols below

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

COVID cancelled their wedding plans, so they married on a BC mountaintop

Ceremony was live streamed to friends and family around the world

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

Trudeau acknowledges racial unrest in U.S.; ‘We also have work to do in Canada’

‘Anti-black racism, racism, is real; it’s in the United States, but it’s also in Canada,’ Trudeau says

State of Local Emergency declared for Boundary as communities brace for river flooding

Warm weather and heavy rain could cause sections of Kettle River system to swell beyond 2018 levels

Large cruise ships barred from Canadian waters until end of October: Garneau

Last year 140 cruise ships brought more than two million visitors to Canadian ports

Most Read