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Kelowna International Airport

Kelowna International Airport (IATA: YLW, ICAO: CYLW) is a Canadian airport located approximately 10 minutes or 6.2 nautical miles (11.5 km; 7.1 mi) northeast of Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada, on Highway 97.

Kelowna International Airport
Kelowna International Airport.

The single runway airport operates scheduled air service to Vancouver, Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton, Victoria, and Seattle, as well as less frequent seasonal service to Cancún, Puerto Vallarta, Los Cabos, and Phoenix. Currently, the airport handles up to 38 commercial departures a day, or approximately 266 departures per week.

In 2014, the airport was among the busiest airports in Canada by number of passengers with 1,602,899 during the year, representing a 6.5% increase over 2013.

Kelowna International Airport

Kelowna International Airport

  • WMO: 71203
Airport type Public
Owner Transport Canada
Operator City of Kelowna
Serves Kelowna, British Columbia
Hub for
  • Flair Airlines
  • KF Cargo
Time zone PST (UTC-08:00)
Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-07:00)
Elevation AMSL 1,420 ft / 433 m
Coordinates 49°57′26″N

Kelowna International Airport

Location in British Columbia

Direction Length Surface
ft m
Statistics (2014/17)
Aircraft movements 77,492 (14)
Passengers 1,893,470 (17)
Sources: Canada Flight Supplement
Environment Canada
Movements from Statistics Canada
Passenger statistics from City of Kelowna (2014).


In 1946, a plebiscite was held which authorized the city of Kelowna to purchase the 320-acre Dickson Ranch for $20,000. The airport was opened in 1947 with a 3,000 foot long grass airstrip and a small terminal. Commercial service first began in 1958 by Canadian Pacific Airlines to Vancouver. In 1960, the runway was paved and extended to 5,350 feet. Through the 1960s and 1970s the airport continued to be expanded with a new terminal building, an air traffic control tower, and an onsite weather office. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s commercial and cargo traffic increased necessitating more than $10 million of investment in upgrades to the terminal building, runway and airline operating facilities.

Kelowna International Airport
Kelowna International Airport.

In 1998, a $20 million expansion program doubled the size of the terminal building, increased parking, and expanded airside facilities to accommodate the projected 1 million passengers by 2011.

Terminal facilities

Kelowna International Airport
Kelowna International Airport.

Interior of the airport terminal's check-in area.

Kelowna International Airport
Kelowna International Airport.

Departure lounge of the airport.

The recently expanded main terminal building is a modern, full-service facility covering approximately 76,000 sq ft (7,100 m2). There are 10 aircraft loading positions, all of which but two are fitted with jet bridges. The arrivals area contains three baggage carousels, one of which can be cordoned off to accommodate international/US arrivals (and remaining two for domestic arrivals) and Canadian Customs processing (The airport has CATSA pre-board screening area, but not US pre-boarding clearance zone).

Several food and beverage services, including Tim Horton's and White Spot Legends Restaurant, newsstands (Skyway Gifts and News), and tourist-related retail stores (Okanagan Estate Wine Cellar), in addition to a limited selection of duty-free goods (Okanagan Style and Duty Free), can be found in the terminal. The departure lounge features a wired business centre and complimentary wireless Internet. The airport's focal point is a glass rotunda which contains a fountain and the cylindrical glass sculpture "Escape from Stella Polaris" and Skyway Atrium Lounge. Kelowna Art Gallery operates a satellite site at the airport. A small observation area is located on the mezzanine level.

Kelowna International Airport
Kelowna International Airport.

Airlines and destinations

Key destinations from the airport are Pacific Northwest (United States and Canada), Western Canada, Northern Canada, Toronto as well as seasonal connections to Southwestern United States, Mexico and Caribbean.

Kelowna International Airport
Kelowna International Airport.


Airlines Destinations
Air Canada Seasonal: Vancouver
Air Canada Express Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver
Air Canada Rouge Toronto-Pearson
Air North Vancouver, Victoria, Whitehorse
Air Transat Seasonal: Cancún, Puerto Vallarta
Alaska Airlines Seattle/Tacoma
Canadian North Charter: Fort McMurray, Kamloops, Vancouver
Central Mountain Air Prince George
Flair Airlines Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver
North Cariboo Air Charter: Fort St. John, Victoria, Vancouver
Pacific Coastal Airlines Cranbrook, Victoria Charter: Kamloops
Sunwing Airlines Seasonal: Cancún, San José del Cabo (begins December 15, 2018), Varadero
WestJet Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto-Pearson Seasonal: Cancún, Phoenix-Sky Harbor, Puerto Vallarta, San José del Cabo, Winnipeg
WestJet Encore Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver, Victoria


Airlines Destinations
Carson Air Kamloops, Calgary, Vancouver
KF Cargo Calgary, Vancouver
SkyLink Express Kamloops, Vancouver


Annual traffic

Year Passengers % Change
2010 1,391,807  
2011 1,390,187 -0.1%
2012 1,443,997 3.8%
2013 1,504,694 4.2%
2014 1,602,899 6.5%
2015 1,593,606 -0.5%
2016 1,732,113 8.7%
2017 1,893,470 9.3%

Ground transportation

Cars, buses and taxis can connect to the airport for Kelowna via Highway 97N. The airport has an outdoor parking lot next to the terminal and some short term spaces near the terminal building.

Public transit

The airport is serviced by Kelowna Regional Route 23 and Vernon Regional Route 90 (rush hour service only) buses, which connect Vernon and Lake Country with UBC Okanagan Exchange in Kelowna. The airport is not served by the bus on evenings and weekends. Passengers heading to downtown Kelowna or West Kelowna can transfer to 97X Kelowna RapidBus at UBC Okanagan Exchange.

Kelowna International Airport
Kelowna International Airport.

Future expansion

In 2006, the Kelowna International Airport Advisory Committee created the Master Plan 2025, a document dedicated to the expansion of the Kelowna International Airport. The Plan is expected to cost approximately $150 million. Due to YLW's unprecedented growth, a Master Plan was required to aid in keeping the airport at modern traffic handling standards. By 2008, the airport lengthened the single runway to 8,900 ft (2,700 m), and plans to lengthen to 10,000 ft (3,000 m) by 2025. Also, the passenger terminal has been expanded so as to allow hourly processing of 680 passengers in 2015, and will be further expanded as to allow 900 passengers by 2025. Currently, the hourly rate is approximately 400 passengers. In order to do this, the terminal size will be nearly doubled, and a 2,400 space parkade will be constructed. Also, to reduce vehicular traffic congestion, a diamond overpass/underpass interchange will be constructed at the current intersection of Highway 97 and Airport Way.

Kelowna International Airport
Kelowna International Airport.

Accidents and incidents

  • July 14, 1986: Pacific Western Airlines Flight 117, a Boeing 737-200 flying from Calgary International Airport to Vancouver International Airport with a stop in Kelowna, left the runway while landing in Kelowna and came to rest approximately 1,300 ft (400 m) beyond the end of the runway. No fatalities or serious injuries were reported, however, 5 crew members and 76 passengers suffered minor injuries.
  • February 4, 2009: At 10:40 PST, a two-seat Cessna 152 coming from Salmon Arm crash-landed on Kelowna Airport's main runway. The two passengers on board were uninjured.
  • January 7, 2013: WestJet Flight 150, a Boeing 737-700 scheduled to depart at 07:00 PST to Edmonton International Airport, slid off the tarmac in Kelowna while it was taxiing to be de-iced during a heavy snowfall.No injuries were reported among the 134 passengers on board.
  • October 13, 2016: Former Alberta premier Jim Prentice was among the four people killed in a small-plane crash in British Columbia that took off from Kelowna Airport. Prentice, 60, was aboard a twin-engine Cessna Citation that disappeared from radar shortly after takeoff from Kelowna, en route to the Springbank Airport, just outside Calgary.
Kelowna International Airport
Kelowna International Airport.

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General Info
Country Canada
Latitude 49.956112
49° 57' 22.00" N
Longitude -119.377778
119° 22' 40.00" W
Elevation 1409 feet
429 meters
Type Civil
Magnetic Variation 017° E (01/06)
Beacon Yes
Operating Agency MUNICIPAL
Daylight Saving Time Second Sunday in March at 0200 to first Sunday in November at 0200 local time (Exception Arizona and that portion of Indiana in the Eastern Time Zone)

Opr 1400-0630Z++.
Opr 0630-1400Z++
Opr 1430-0630Z++.
Opr 1400-0630Z++.
EMR 122.675
Opr 1400-0630Z++.
Opr 0630-1430Z++
Communications Remarks
TWR (emerg only 250-765-3426)
ATIS phone 250-491-0310

Dimensions Surface PCN ILS
16/34 7300 x 200 feet
2225 x 61 meters

Type ID Name Channel Freq Distance From Field Bearing From Navaid
NDB LW KELOWNA - 257 6.5 NM 147.1

Fuel Jet B, Wide cut turbine fuel, Without icing inhibitor.

Jet A1, without icing nhibitor.

100/130 octane gasoline, leaded, MIL-L-5572F (GREEN)

80/87 octane gasoline, leaded, MIL-L-5572F (RED)

The content above was published at in 2018.
We don't guarantee the information is fresh and accurate. The data may be wrong or outdated.
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