A recently finished $4.3-million taxiway extension at the Victoria International Airport (not pictured) is unusable because of a blind spot. (Black Press Media file photo)

A recently finished $4.3-million taxiway extension at the Victoria International Airport (not pictured) is unusable because of a blind spot. (Black Press Media file photo)

Blind spot leaves Victoria airport’s new $4.3-million taxiway extension unusable

Solution has been put on hold by COVID-19 pandemic, says airport authority

A $4.3-million taxiway extension at the Victoria International Airport is currently sitting unused due to a blind spot.

Completed in fall 2019, the Taxi Echo East project expanded the taxiway by roughly 366 metres – a solution for the current system, which requires pilots to taxi jets down the runway and complete a U-turn in order to position themselves for take-off.

Airport consultative committee meeting minutes from March 2019 detail how the taxiway extension, done in partnership with Canada’s air navigation service provider Nav Canada, was supposed to improve safety by removing access and departure points to the threshold of the runways.

The new design was also intended to improve utilization and fuel consumption for air carriers. Roughly 38,000 cubic metres of soil was removed and stockpiled during construction.

But the extension is located in a blind spot for the airport’s control tower, and therefore unusable.

READ ALSO: Victoria airport to spend $19.4M on terminal expansion

Geoff Dickson, CEO of the Victoria International Airport Authority, said there was an indication that the control tower would be moved, but that hasn’t happened.

“At the time there was consideration with Nav Canada of relocating the control tower to the other side of the airport,” he said, adding possible solutions have been presented by both parties.

“There has been no resolution or agreement overall on that.”

In an email, Nav Canada said it continues to work with the Victoria airport on the taxiway project to “enhance operational efficiencies” but “given the shifting priorities of the pandemic this project is temporarily on hold.”

CCTV cameras have been discussed as a short-term solution, Dickson said. But costs haven’t been provided and forward momentum is on hold.

The airport industry has been decimated financially by the virus, he added.

“It’s really all about the pandemic,” Dickson said. “With completion in the fall, it would have been good to have full agreement on what a long-term or interim solution would look like.”

The Taxi Echo East project was completed after the airport announced a $19.4-million terminal expansion in February 2018. The 27-month plan included a departure lounge expansion, dedicated aircraft gates, covered walkways, new washrooms and additional space for retail and food services.

For more news from Vancouver Island and beyond delivered daily into your inbox, please click here.

READ ALSO: COVID-19: Flight traffic drops 90% at Victoria airport, only handful of flights arrive each day


Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: nina.grossman@blackpress.ca. Follow us on Instagram.
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

nina.grossman@blackpress.ca

Air TravelGreater VictoriaVictoria International Airport

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

Just Posted

The Town of Oliver is lobbying for funds to fix part of an irrigation system damaged by a rock slide last year that would have a huge impact on farmers and the entire region. File photo
Province to finish funding for Oliver irrigation system repairs

The irrigation system was damaged after a rockslide in 2016

The Vees are on their fourth straight win as they head into game five of Pod Season on Sunday. (Cheri Morgan Photography)
Penticton Vees keep winning streak alive with 5-3 win

The Vees are now 4-0 to start the BCHL pod season

Penticton Christian School. (Facebook)
COVID-19 exposure at Penticton independent school

The exposures are the latest in a quickly growing list in the Interior

Participants are encouraged to light a candle and watch the streamed event from home as speakers honor the lives of those lost to overdose from Gyro Bandshell in Penticton April 14, 2021. (Facebook photo)
Vigil for 5th anniversary of B.C. overdose crisis to be held in Penticton

To honor the lives lost to the overdose crisis and bring a call of action to policymakers

The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen will speed up the process for hospitality businesses looking to set up patios during the latest COVID-19 restrictions. Under the most recent restrictions, indoor dining is prohibited, but patio dining is allowed. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen speeds up patio permit approval

Initiative to help hospitality businesses affected by latest COVID-19 restrictions

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod, seen here on April 9, 2021 with four-year-old sister Elena and mom Vanessa, was born with limb differences. The family, including husband/dad Sean McLeod, is looking for a family puppy that also has a limb difference. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. family looking for puppy with limb difference, just like 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy McLeod born as bilateral amputee, now her family wants to find ‘companion’ puppy for her

This illustration provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in January 2020 shows the 2019 Novel Coronavirus.[CDC]
More COVID-19 exposures reported at schools in Kelowna

Interior Health added additional schools and dates to their list of exposures

A vehicle that was driven through the wall of a parkade at Uptown Shopping Centre and into the nearby Walmart on April 9 was removed through another hole in the wall later that night. (Photo via Saanich Police Department and Ayush Kakkar)
Vehicle launched into B.C. Walmart removed following rescue of trapped workers

Crews cut new hole in parkade wall to remove vehicle safely

Four members with Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans were out at Cultus Lake on March 28 and 29 hauling trash out of the waters. (Henry Wang)
PHOTOS: Out-of-town divers remove 100s of pounds of trash from Cultus Lake

Members of Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans hauled out 470 pounds of trash over two days

As of Saturday, April 10, people born in 1961 are the latest to be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine. (Black Press files)
B.C. residents age 60+ can now register to get their COVID-19 vaccine

Vaccine registration is now open to people born in 1961 or earlier

A new saline gargle test, made in B.C., will soon be replacing COVID-19 nasal swab tests for kids. (PHSA screenshot)
Take-home COVID-19 tests available for some B.C. students who fall ill at school

BC Children’s Hospital plans to provide 1,200 kits to Vancouver district schools this April

Sun Peaks is tracking rising COVID-19 cases. (Kamloops This Week Photo)
Sun Peaks sees spike in COVID-19 cases at end of ski season

On April 9, there were 15 positive cases confirmed.

Ruming Jiang and his dog Chiu Chiu are doing fine following a brush with hypothermia that saw several people work together to get them out of the Fraser River near Langley’s Derby Reach Park on March 25, 2021 (Special to the Advance Times)
Man finds men who rescued him from drowning in B.C.’s Fraser River

A grateful Ruming Jiang says he will thank them again, this time in person when the pandemic ends

Most Read