PHOTOS: Weekend at the Chilliwack Airport

The Chilliwack Airport, and others around the region, have seen massive increases in air traffic in the past week

By Grace Kennedy | November 21, 2021 |1:20 pm

Municipal airports aren’t typically busy places, but a region-wide disaster isn’t exactly typical.

The last week has seen a 1,300% increase in the number of flights landing at Chilliwack Airport, compared to 2019. (The airport usually has 60,000 arrivals and departures over the course of a year, 70% of which is small regional flights or pilot training.) Other municipal airports have also seen a massive increase in use, with the FVRD Regional Airpark in Hope asking for donations to upgrade the facility in the future.

Over the weekend, helicopters and small aircraft flew into and out of the airspace to fuel up, deliver packages, and transport people around the region. First responders were stationed on the ground, waiting for a BC Ambulance flight to land. Canadian Armed Forces members checked over their helicopter before flying over Chilliwack on their way west.

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All this action drew residents out to watch.

In the course of two hours on Saturday afternoon, the Chilliwack Airport parking lot hosted a couple on their anniversary, a former Ontario man who had just moved to the area, a van full of kids, an elderly man and woman watching planes from their car, airport staff in high-visibility vests, a man walking his dog, this reporter and her toddler, and at least four other passersby.

This is what they saw.

A North Point helicopter, a charter company from Abbotsford, takes off from Chilliwack Airport on Saturday (Nov. 20). 📸 Grace Kennedy
A Canadian Armed Forces member looks over the helicopter before taking off from Chilliwack Airport. 📸 Grace Kennedy
A Canadian Armed Forces helicopter as it takes off from the Chilliwack Airport Saturday afternoon (Nov. 20). 📸 Grace Kennedy

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A number of residents came out to watch the activity at the Chilliwack Airport Saturday (Nov. 20). 📸 Grace Kennedy
An empty air ambulance leaves the Chilliwack Airport after a liaison with a BC Ambulance on the ground. 📸 Grace Kennedy
A woman runs to her airplane. The plane had stopped in Chilliwack to fuel on its way to Vernon. 📸 Grace Kennedy

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A plane comes in to land at the Chilliwack Airport Saturday afternoon (Nov. 20). 📸 Grace Kennedy
The largest plane to land at the Chilliwack Airport Saturday afternoon (Nov. 20) was the Super King Air 200, which can hold 10 people and two crew. 📸 Grace Kennedy
Many chartered helicopter companies used the Chilliwack Airport over the weekend, including Sky Helicopters which has been helping move supplies during the crisis. 📸 Grace Kennedy
A number of residents came out to watch the activity at the Chilliwack Airport Saturday (Nov. 20). 📸 Grace Kennedy

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Grace Kennedy

Reporter at Fraser Valley Current

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