Yesterday, we heard from YPR Manager Michael Pucci with a response from the viewpoint of the Prince Rupert airport on themes related to a recent Globe and Mail article on aviation in Canada.
Our second part today features some of his notes towards air travel from the local perspective.
And with the busy holiday season upon us, we focus on the local experience for air travellers in Prince Rupert and potential plans for the future at the Digby Island Airport.
The first part of the review, explores themes of a frequent frustration for air travellers, flight information, flight delays and other local airport concerns for the public.
"The YPR team is continuing to look at the experience for travelers through the airport. One big item that we are proud to introduce is a luggage belt at Security Screening. This belt means no longer having to lift your heavy bags on to the tables to have them go through the xray machine. Place them on the belt at ground level and the belt carries them up on to the table, protecting passengers from injury and creating convenience for all.
As mentioned, YPR is in the process of looking at items and processes to improve the experience through the airport. We will be looking at our website and use of facebook in the new year but one thing we at YPR must stress, the Airport is not notified of Air Canada’s intentions with flights, delays, and cancelations, this includes when the bus leaves downtown.
The airport does not have an alternative source of information, the passengers and I agree it can be maddening with the infrequency of updates, but Air Canada, and the Local Air Canada Reps are the source for information. The Local Reps, update and work with the bus company not the airport, and the Local Reps handle the Luggage.
Air Canada and their Local Reps are the sole source for information around flights, including luggage and bus times. The 3rd option on the 250 622 2222 bus info line has the telephone number for the Local Air Canada Rep.
Of note there is a neat website/ app called FLIGHT AWARE, you type in a location airport, or a flight / plane id and it will track it … so one can see where their plane is in real time"
Towards what may be ahead for the terminal itself and future flight options for Prince Rupert travellers, Mr. Pucci offers up some things to keep an eye on for the future.
"We also hear amenities for food and drink would add to the passenger experience and we are looking at reasonable, cost-effective means to have something available, but the logistics are a difficult hurdle and limiting options.
The above will not prevent YPR from engaging other carriers beyond WestJet and Air Canada, in an attempt to bolster the offerings through YPR.
One avenue that YPR would love to explore with potential operators or entrepreneurs ( local or outside of our area ) are opportunities for organized charters to come and go with specific purposes, like Pro Hockey or Pro Football packages, Las Vegas Show packages, or local Excursions, local Wildlife viewing or even Rupert Hosted Conferences.
A business or person charters a plane, sells tickets that include airfare, maybe hotel, and tickets to an event or similar - either destination Rupert or for Rupertites to go to… on a small scale this is already occurring during Grizzly Bear viewing season with an operator bringing people in from the Calgary area via a Boeing 737.
As well this is the first year that cruise ship operators transported passenger exchanges through the airport using again a 737."
To follow up on areas of note from YPR, explore their website and Social media stream, two portals that may see more frequent updates in the future.
Travellers can always fire off an e mail to email@example.com as well, should they have specific questions or suggestions for the Manager and Board to consider.
More notes on aviation in the northwest can be reviewd through our archive page.