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.

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

(Black Press Media file photo)
Woman returned to West Shore on warrant after crashing in Oak Bay

Smashed car windows, stolen outboard, missing diamond round out police briefs

Sidney council approved a broad package of tax relief measures, but concerns about its timing and effectiveness remain. (Black Press Media File).
President of cannabis company considers legal action against Sidney

Sidney already lost one legal action by another cannabis retailer in summer 2020

A photograph of the real firearm beside the replica firearm seized by VicPD in the early hours of April 18. (Courtesy VicPD)
Police seize loaded firearm, drugs during traffic stop in Victoria

Officers find cocaine, methamphetamine and fentanyl along with loaded handgun

Colwood restaurants can use city property for patios. (Black Press Media file photo)
Temporary patios back on for Colwood restaurants

Council voted to extend temporary permits to 2022

Sidney Volunteer Fire Department as well as Sidney/North Saanich RCMP and BC Ambulance responded to a dryer fire on Orchard Avenue. (Sidney Volunteer Fire Department/Twitter)
Dryer fire doused in Sidney

Cause of Monday afternoon remains under investigation

Public health restrictions on non-essential travel and vacation bookings are being increased in B.C. (B.C. government)
Out-of-region B.C. vacation bookings, RV ferry reservations to be refused, Horgan says

B.C. extends COVID-19 indoor dining, group fitness ban until May 25

(New Westminster Police)
4 youth arrested after 30-person brawl in New Westminster leaves 1 seriously injured

Police are looking for witnesses who saw the incident take place

South Surrey’s Paul Cottrell, who works with the DFO, tows a grey whale out of Semiahmoo Bay Sunday. (Contributed photo)
Dead whale floating near White Rock towed to shore for necropsy

Animal has been dead since at least April 15

Wickaninnish (Clifford Atleo) plays the drum while singing the Nuu-chah-nulth song on the court steps in Vancouver In a picture from April 2018. Photo credit, Melody Charlie.
Five western Vancouver Island First Nations celebrate legal fishing victory

Court ruling confirms Nuu-chah-nulth fishing rights in case dating back to 2003

Sunday’s storm rocked one of the ferries crossing Kootenay Lake. Photo: Dirk Jonker
VIDEO: Storm makes for wild ferry ride across Kootenay Lake

The video was captured by ferry employee Dirk Jonker

Dr. Bonnie Henry gives her daily media briefing regarding Covid-19 for the province of British Columbia in Victoria, B.C, Monday, December 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
BREAKING: Toddler marks youngest British Columbian to die related to COVID-19

Child one of eight people to die from virus this weekend

Chakalaka Bar & Grill remains open in defiance of orders from Island Health to close. (Cole Schisler photo)
Island Health seeks injunction against restaurant defying COVID-19 orders

VIHA says Ladysmith-area Chakalaka Bar and Grill also violating water and sewer regulations

Pharmacist Barbara Violo arranges all the empty vials of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines that she has provided to customers at the Junction Chemist which is a independent pharmacy during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto, on Monday, April 19, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
B.C. to open up AstraZeneca vaccines for all people 40+, set up clinics in hot spots

A total of 13 neighbourhoods and communities will receive the AstraZeneca vaccine

Most Read