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

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson outlines the province’s three-year budget in Victoria, April 20, 2021. (B.C. government video)
B.C. deficit to grow by $19 billion for COVID-19 recovery spending

Pandemic-year deficit $5 billion lower than forecast

A syringe is loaded with COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
67 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Thirty people in the region are hospitalized with the virus, 11 of whom are intensive care

An animal carrier full of bullet holes and containing a dead animal was found near Castlegar. Photo: Colleen Schwartz
Castlegar woman finds dead animal inside carrier riddled with bullet holes

The remains were discovered near Syringa Creek Provincial Park

People are shown at a COVID-19 vaccination site in Montreal, Sunday, April 18, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
211 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health over the weekend

Currently, there are 875 active cases of the virus in the region

A nurse prepares a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16. As of April 19, more than 230,000 doses have been administered across the Interior Health region. (Phil McLachlan/Black Press)
More than 230K doses of COVID-19 vaccine administered across Interior Health

A total of 220,216 first doses and 13,775 second doses have been given to residents across the B.C. Interior

Four homes in Johnson Flats were at serious risk of falling into a neighbourhood section of the Kettle River, according to capital project manager Justin Dinsdale. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Grand Forks shields riverside homes against erosion

Crews have built a modified dike along a section of the Kettle River in Johnson Flats

A man pauses at a coffin after carrying it during a memorial march to remember victims of overdose deaths in Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. announces historic half-billion-dollar funding for overdose crisis, mental health

Of it, $152 million will be used to address the opioid crisis and see the creation of 195 new substance use treatment beds

Children’s backpacks and shoes are seen at a CEFA (Core Education and Fine Arts) Early Learning daycare franchise, in Langley, B.C., on Tuesday May 29, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. budget to expand $10-a-day child care, but misses the mark on ‘truly universal’ system

$111 million will be used to fund 3,750 new $10-a-day spaces though 75 additional ChildCareBC universal prototype sites over the next three years.

The IIO is investigating after a police dog bit a man during a traffic stop near Ladysmith on April 17, 2021. (Black Press Media stock photo)
Man arrested in incident at Canada-U.S. border near Roosville

A man who crossed the border illegally was apprehended by U.S. officials

Mak Parhar speaks at an anti-mask rally outside the Vancouver Art Gallery on Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020. Parhar was arrested on Nov. 2 and charged with allegedly violating the Quarantine Act after returning from a Flat Earth conference held in Geenville, South Carolina on Oct. 24. (Flat Earth Focker/YouTube.com screenshot)
Judge tosses lawsuit of B.C. COVID-denier who broke quarantine after Flat Earth conference

Mak Parhar accused gov, police of trespass, malfeasance, extortion, terrorism, kidnapping and fraud

Ambulance paramedic in full protective gear works outside Lion’s Gate Hospital, March 23, 2020. Hospitals are seeing record numbers of COVID-19 patients more than a year into the pandemic. (The Canadian Press)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate declines, 849 cases Tuesday

Up to 456 people now in hospital, 148 in intensive care

Christy Clark, who was premier from 2011 to 2017, is the first of several present and past politicians to appear this month before the Cullen Commission, which is investigating the causes and impact of B.C.’s money-laundering problem over the past decade. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)
Christy Clark says she first learned of money-laundering spike in 2015

The former B.C. premier testified Tuesday she was concerned the problem was ‘apparently at an all-time high’

Most Read