The first Revelstoke Air flight of the season was rerouted to Kamloops this afternoon due to poor visibility at the Revelstoke Airport.
Lara Davis, general manager of Everything Revelstoke, which operates the charter service through Pacific Coastal Airlines, said that the weather was unexpected.
“It was nowhere on the government radar early this morning when we made the call to land,” she said. “The unexepected weather comes in and everything looks clear, but then the weather happens.”
The plane, carrying 14 passengers – both residents and tourists – was running a few minutes late.
It flew over the Revelstoke Airport, where snow was falling, before making the call to reroute to Kamloops.
“The visibility was not where they needed it to be to be able to have a safe landing,” said Davis.
The reroute to Kamloops and not Kelowna was Pacific Coastal’s call, said Davis.
She said the conditions in Kelowna weren’t the greatest for landing either.
The four passengers who were waiting to board the flight to Vancouver were loaded onto a bus and driven to Kamloops, where they would board the plane for the 45-minute flight to Vancouver. The bus would then pick up the passengers en route to Revelstoke and drop them off at their various destinations.
Last year, Davis said that of the 15 flights, four were diverted.
There are 32 flights planned for this season. They are scheduled for Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Sunday flights will be added for the month of February.
The flights are billed as getting passengers “city to slope in one hour.”
Access to transportation was identified as being important for Revelstoke’s future economic growth, Nicole Fricot, director of community economic development.
“This is not just about tourists. Business people and investors want to know that they can leave Revelstoke for a meeting or attend a conference in the winter,” she said. “They are much more likely to move to Revelstoke or invest their business in Revelstoke if they have a flight service option.”