Victoria International Airport
|Victoria International Airport|
|IATA: YYJ – ICAO: CYYJ
– WMO: 71799
|Operator||Victoria Airport Authority|
|Serves||Victoria, British Columbia|
|Location||North Saanich, British Columbia|
|Time zone||PST (UTC−08:00)|
|• Summer (DST)||PDT (UTC−07:00)|
|Elevation AMSL||64 ft / 20 m|
Victoria International Airport (IATA: YYJ, ICAO: CYYJ) serves Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. It is 12 nautical miles (22 km; 14 mi) north northwest of the city, in North Saanich, quite close to the town of Sidney on the Saanich Peninsula. The airport is run by the Victoria Airport Authority.
The airport is classified as an airport of entry by NAV CANADA and is staffed by the Canada Border Services Agency. CBSA officers at this airport currently can handle aircraft with no more than 450 passengers, when unloaded from the aircraft in stages, or 150 normally.
In 2011, YYJ served 1,499,792 passengers and had 141,465 aircraft movements making it one of Canada's busiest airports in terms of passengers. It was British Columbia's second busiest airport in terms of passengers, and third in terms of aircraft movements.
There are two popular locations for plane spotters. The first is at the end of Canora Road, on the south-east side of the airport, next to a small cemetery. A second, lesser-known location is an open field off of Mills Road, near the Mills Road and Meadlands Road intersection on the north-east corner of the airport.
The airport started in 1939 as a grass strip, and was used as a military training base. The airport is located beside Patricia Bay, which, due to the prevalence of flying boats at the time, proved to be an excellent location. The Department of Transport took over the airport in 1948. It was then called Victoria (Patricia Bay) Airport, and many locals still refer to it as the "Pat Bay Airport." Trans-Canada Airlines (later Air Canada) began regular service in 1943.
The last Royal Canadian Air Force unit left the airport in 1952. In the late 1980s the RCAF returned to the property when 443 Helicopter Squadron began operating CH-124 Sea King ship-borne anti-submarine helicopters from Victoria International Airport. The RCAF refers to 443 Squadron operations at the airport as the Patricia Bay Heliport.
In 1959, the airport was renamed to its present name of the Victoria International Airport.
In 1997, as part of a broad scale restructuring of airports across Canada, Transport Canada (formerly the Department of Transport), gave operational control of the airport to the Victoria Airport Authority.
In 2000, the Victoria Airport Authority began the process of renovating and expanding the terminal to meet passenger needs. In 2002, the new "airside hold room" was built as well as the new "arrivals rotunda." By 2005, the new "departures area" was completed.
In May 2005, the federal government, which owns the land, announced a reduction in the rent paid by the Victoria Airport Authority. This will save $0.6 million Canadian each year and $12 million CAD over the life of the lease, which is 50 years.
The main terminal has 9 gates, organized as gates 1–7 and 9–10. Gates 1,2 and 9,10 are equipped with aircraft loading bridges.
Gates 1–5 are used to handle international passenger arrivals.
There are three luggage carousels: Two located at the arrivals area for domestic passengers, and one for international flights located beside the customs area.
Airlines and destinations
Most airlines at Victoria services domestic flights or flights to the United States. Seasonal connections connect Victoria to destinations in Mexico and the Caribbean. There are no direct international connections, but can be made through flights to other Canadian hubs (via Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto) or through the US (via Las Vegas, Honolulu, Seattle and San Francisco).
|Air Canada||Toronto–Pearson||Gate 9|
|Air Canada Express||Calgary, Vancouver||Gates 6, 7|
operated by Horizon Air
|Seattle/Tacoma||Gate 3, 5|
|Air Transat||Seasonal: Cancún, Puerto Vallarta||Gates 1, 2, 6|
|Island Express Air||Abbotsford, Nanaimo, Tofino, Boundary Bay, Vancouver||Gate 5|
|Orca Airways||Abbotsford, Tofino||Gate 5|
|Pacific Coastal Airlines||Vancouver, Cranbrook, Prince George||Gate 5|
|Sunwing Airlines||Seasonal: Los Cabos||Gates 1, 2|
|United Express||San Francisco||Gates 4, 5|
|WestJet||Calgary, Edmonton, Las Vegas
Seasonal: Cancún, Honolulu, Phoenix, Puerto Vallarta, Toronto–Pearson
|Gates 1, 2, 9|
|WestJet Encore||Kelowna, Vancouver||Gates 8|
|Morningstar Air Express||Vancouver|
Future development plans
The Victoria Airport Authority's 2008 master plan laid out a timeline of proposed changes to the airport.
- Full parallel taxiway E to runway 09/27. (Completed)
- New taxiway exit from runway 09 to taxiway S. (Completed)
- New maintenance facility and fire hall on the west side of the airport (Completed).
- First phase of apron IV expansion to accommodate interim demand.
- Extend approach lighting on runway 27 by 320 m (1,050 ft).
- Additional terminal building public parking. (Completed)
- Construct a bicycle/walking path around the perimeter of the airport property. (Completed)
- Add two new passenger loading bridges. (Completed)
- Upgrading of approach lighting on runway 09.
- Decommission taxiway D.
- Apron IV expansion to the north.
- New taxiway from apron IV to runway 02/20.
- Construct a new general aviation taxiway.
- Construct road access from Mills Road.
- Realign Willingdon Road to accommodate additional terminal building parking.
- First phase of terminal expansion (upper level hold room and two additional loading bridges).
- New Canada Border Services Agency immigration and customs facility and US border preclearance area.
- North concourse terminal expansion.
- Construct a car parking structure.
- A 427 m (1,401 ft) runway expansion of 09/27.
There are several organisations that offer flight training at the airport:
- Pat Bay Air Seaplanes (charter service, tours, and training using Cessna 185)
- Ocean Air Floatplanes (charter service, tours, float plane training using Cessna 180H)
- Victoria Flying Club (small prop aircraft training)
- Pacific Sky Aviation (Formerly Juan Air - training with turbo prop and floatplanes)
- Discovery West Aviation (charter service, sightseeing tours, and training)
- Compass West Aviation (advanced flight training with turbo prop aircraft using Redbird FMX)
Transportation to the airport
Victoria International Airport is 22 km from downtown Victoria.
It is served by direct shuttle bus service (note YYJ Airport Shuttle replaced AKAL Airporter Express in 2013) to and from downtown hotels, by taxis (Yellow Cab).
BC Transit routes 83, 86, and 88 make connections to the airport. Passengers using BC Transit can connect with intercity (Greyhound Bus Lines or Vancouver Island Coach) and regional coach service (Pacific Coach Lines) in Victoria.
By car, the airport is normally a 20-minute drive from downtown Victoria (with little or no traffic, and a 40-minute drive with traffic) via Highway 17. The airport has short term and long term/daily parking lots next to the terminal with an additional overflow lot. Rental lot is located to the southwest of the terminal building.
A new interchange at Highway 17 and McTavish Road, the main highway access point to the airport, was completed in April 2011. Funding for the interchange was shared between the federal, provincial governments and the Victoria Airport Authority.
Fire and rescue
Victoria International Airport Fire and Rescue operates 3 crash tenders and 1 support vehicle to deal with emergencies at the airport. The current station (Airport Fire Service and Airport Operations) opened in 2010 to replace the former station dating back to World War II.
Fixed base operations
- Shell Aerocentre
- Vancouver Island Helicopters (VIH)
- Viking Air
- Airport Divestiture Status Report
- Canada Flight Supplement. Effective 0901Z 24 July 2014 to 0901Z 18 September 2014
- Synoptic/Metstat Station Information
- Total aircraft movements by class of operation — NAV CANADA towers
- 2011 Victoria Passenger Statistics
- Victoria International Airport (YYJ) - Aviation Fees
- British Columbia Aviation Museum
- Victoria International Airport (YYJ) - Free Wireless Internet Arrives! - News. Victoriaairport.com (2010-12-01). Retrieved on 2013-07-12.
- Victoria Airport partners with BOLDstreet. Wings Magazine (2011-01-31). Retrieved on 2013-07-12.
- Victoria International Airport (YYJ) - Services & Facilities. Victoriaairport.com. Retrieved on 2013-07-12.
- "Pacific Coastal Airlines Adds Victoria - Prince Service from Jan 2015". Airline Route. 30 October 2014. Retrieved 30 October 2014.
- WestJet Reveals New Routes and Encore Operation in S13 | Airline Route – Worldwide Airline Route Updates. Airlineroute.net (2013-02-11). Retrieved on 2013-07-12.
- Victoria International Airport (YYJ) - VAA Board Authorizes Construction of New Airport Fire Hall/Maintenance Building. Victoriaairport.com. Retrieved on 2013-07-12.
- BC Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure McTavish Interchange Project
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Victoria International Airport.|
- Victoria International Airport
- Page about this airport on COPA's Places to Fly airport directory
- Past three hours METARs, SPECI and current TAFs for Victoria International Airport from Nav Canada as available.