A $9.5-million repaving job at the Penticton airport this summer will interfere with two daily commercial flights.
Air Canada spokeswoman Angela Mah said Transport Canada will close the airport from 10:45 p.m. to 6:45 a.m., every day between July 3 and Aug. 31, in order to repair and repave the runway.
“While we support Transport Canada’s decision to renew the Penticton airport runway, we are disappointed the runway will be closed daily for eight consecutive hours, which will impact this year’s peak summer schedule, temporarily causing inconvenience to passengers,” she said in a statement.
As a result of the work, the first flight out of Penticton will take off at 6:45 a.m., rather than 6 a.m. as it does currently, while the last flight in will land at 10:29 p.m., rather than 11:39 p.m.
Mah said rescheduling the late flight will interfere with evening connections through Vancouver for passengers on their way into Penticton from 17 destinations, including Toronto, Calgary and Los Angeles.
Passengers whose bookings will be affected by the rescheduling should contact the airline and may receive a refund, change their travel time or be rerouted through Kelowna and then transported by ground to Penticton.
Larry Taylor, president of the Penticton Flying Club, said the repaving work shouldn’t unduly impact the 50 members of his group, since they fly mostly during the daytime.
“A nice, shiny paved runway would be nice,” he said, noting though that there doesn’t appear to be anything wrong with the tarmac now.
“It’s probably regular maintenance,” he said, “and it’s like anything else: If you wait too long it ends up costing money.”
Taylor added that the work also won’t affect the club’s plans to host a Second World War-era B-25 bomber from July 21-27 at the airport, where it will be available for viewing and rides.
Transport Canada spokeswoman Andrea Moritz said in a statement the repaving is expected to begin July 14, and “it is hoped the major runway work can be completed prior to Aug. 31, allowing a return to normal operations.”
Her statement did not explain why the job is being undertaken at the height of the tourist season, but noted the “decision to close the runway for night paving during summer months was made in order to minimize impacts on aviation users at the airport.
“The remaining paving of taxi way and other airside pavements can occur during the day, with little impact on pilots and passengers of the airport,” she said.
The paving contract was awarded to local firm Peters Brothers Construction, according to the Public Works and Government Services Canada website.