The Campbell River Airport is designated as a Port of Entry; our runway is 6,500 feet by 150 feet. Two parallel taxiways (Bravo and Charlie) offer easy access to the runway of choice. Aircraft parking options include grass tie down area, itinerant paved parking and commercial operational stands. The airport regularly serves aircraft from Cessna 150’s up to Boeing 737’s, Globals, Gulfstream’s and all other corporate clients, our infrastructure is build to a pavement load rating of 12. Our friendly maintenance staff provides excellent customer service to all airport users, staff also provides aviation fuel. Our low key approach provides corporate clientele discrete access and egress from our facility. The Air Terminal building has recently been modernized amenities include, two commercial airlines Central Mountain Air and Pacific Coastal Airlines the Fuel up Café, Budget and National car rentals and passenger screening by G4S contracted to CATSA. The public parking lot is monitored by video surveillance 24/7 we offer short term and long term parking solutions.
Campbell River Airport YBL has a strategic advantage as a leading location for Aviation. First, it is located in the Centre of Vancouver Island; a small plane or helicopter can make it to any point on the island within 1.5 hours. Second it is also close to the narrows between the mainland and the island. An aircraft does not need to fly over a large stretch of water to get over to the mainland. This may seem insignificant, but it is a huge flight planning obstacle for small airplane/helicopters. Third, you can fly low level in poor weather from Campbell River Airport YBL to the West Coast through Gold River and from Campbell River Airport YBL to the BC interior through Knight Inlet. No other airport has this advantage on the island.
Campbell River Airport YBL has many small islands close by that have a unique blend of communities and industry which need aircraft support. Islands south of Campbell River Airport YBL are residential based, ferry supported and have little need for commercial aircraft. Islands north of Campbell River Airport YBL are mostly industrial based with less residential area. All the lodges on Stuart Island, Sonora Island and Dent Island would have much more difficulty operating without aircraft support from Campbell River and Campbell River Airport YBL.
To confirm this, all you need to do is look at the number of helicopter and floatplane operators in Campbell River. The number is higher than any other town on the West Coast apart from Vancouver. Campbell River is the aviation hub for Vancouver Island.
Campbell River Airport YBL is the only airport on the island that has all the aviation services (ILS, high visibility lights etc) and ample room to expand. One of the biggest difficulties airports face is room to grow. Most airports are located conveniently close to a town, which over time; residents wish the airport was not there. Any expansion is always treated with resistance. Edmonton City Centre, Toronto’s Billy Bishop and Buttonville airport are all good examples.
The History of Campbell River Airport (YBL)
By Gail Franklin
In 1954, a group of citizens met informally to discuss how to establish this airport. They saw a potential economic boom in the Campbell River area, and they wanted to create a transportation hub that would support it.
It wasn't easily accomplished. The search for the right site took years. Once the land was found, the initial estimated cost of clearing and construction was far more than could be raised. But imagination and the local "can-do" spirit won out, as the contractor agreed to wait for payment and the Village of Campbell River donated a municipal building that could be moved to the site. It was a small but important beginning.
From the day it opened in 1959, this airport has contributed to Campbell River's ability to attract visitors,residents and business investment.It continues to serve the mining, forestry and tourism industries along with local residents and it brings the world to our door.
Growing along with the city, the airport has seen decades of continuous improvement that attract and serve additional businesses and visitors. The first airstrip was gravel, and was frequently visited by deer and bears. Today this facility supports an array of aviation and aerospace companies that offer service to the entire Pacific Coast corridor.
The dream of a thriving transportation hub has come true. Campbell River has become a natural choice for businesses seeking an accessible location, abundant natural resources, and space to grow. Visitors and residents enjoy the area's magnificent setting and easy-going lifestyle, supported by rapid access to goods and services.
As always, the friendly, informal atmosphere of the Campbell River Airport is complemented by excellent service and technical support, reflecting the character of the city it serves.