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Pitt Meadows Regional Airport seeks to become more convenient to U.S. travellers

City council approved letter of recommendation for airport’s application
Pitt Meadows Regional Airport’s general manager Guy Miller presented at the Feb. 27 city council meeting to request a letter of recommendation for the airport’s application to CBSA for a reclassification to AOE/15. (Brandon Tucker/The News)

The Pitt Meadows Regional Airport is now one step closer to becoming a much more convenient location for corporate aircraft after Pitt Meadows city council unanimously approved a letter of recommendation for the airport’s application to Canada Borders Services Agency (CBSA).

Airport manager Guy Miller explained at Tuesday’s council meeting that the local airport was looking to solve a big hassle it currently faces by changing its classification.

As of right now, the Pitt Meadows Regional Airport is a CANPASS airport, which Miller compared to the NEXUS program, saying that it allows individuals to be pre-approved to land in Pitt Meadows when coming from the U.S.

However, he said that problems can arise when even a single person on an international flight doesn’t have CANPASS.

In that case, the aircraft would have to first land at the airports in Vancouver, Delta, or Abbotsford in order to clear customs before being able to continue on to Pitt Meadows.

READ ALSO: Abbotsford International Airport establishes new passenger volume record

Miller wants to help eliminate this problem by seeking approval from CBSA to become an Airport of Entry/15 (AOE/15).

This would allow anyone, regardless of if they have CANPASS, to fly directly into Pitt Meadows when coming from outside the country.

“The big difference is that CANPASS is a person approval and AOE/15 is an airport approval,” said Miller.

If approved, the Pitt Meadows Regional Airport would be able to accept unscheduled private or corporate aircraft with a maximum of 15 passengers and allow them to clear customs directly at the airport.

“We have a beautiful terminal and have executive aircraft coming in, we should be able to get aircraft coming right into our airport and not having to clear at Abbotsford, Boundary, or YVR.”

Councillor Bob Meachen agreed with Miller, saying that he has long known that this is a deterrent for international flyers wanting to come to the Pitt Meadows airport.

“I am personally aware of business owners that want to fly in and visit businesses in this area, notably in south Pitt Meadows, but they don’t have the ability to land here,” said Meachen. “It makes a lot of sense to make sure that we’re using all of our assets and resources to the fullest.”

READ ALSO: Pitt Meadows airport will remove last of outdated buildings in 2024

Miller assured residents that they don’t need to be concerned about a drastic increase in noise with this pending change in classification.

“Noise concerns from jet aircraft are almost non-existent at the airport,” said Miller. “They tend to be bypass engines and new technology that is very quiet upon approach and they do not do circuit work. They come in, they land, they stop, and then they take off and go.”

“It’s about taking what we already do and adding to our current service and making YPK more desirable and more efficient.”

City council unanimously agreed to give the airport a letter of recommendation in their CBSA application, moving them further along the path to achieving AOE/15 status.

Brandon Tucker

About the Author: Brandon Tucker

I have been a journalist since 2013, with much of my career spent covering sports and entertainment stories in Alberta.
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