Prince George, BC – Over 15,000 people are expected to arrive in Prince George as the 2015 Canada Winter Games get underway next week. The Prince George Airport (YXS) is playing a major role as the majority of participants are flying into the city.
“We’ve been meeting with the 2015 Canada Winter Games team for over two years ensuring a safe, efficient and enjoyable experience for those coming through YXS’ says Prince George Airport Authority (PGAA) President and CEO, John Gibson. “Our airport is the first and last impression of our city and region. Having WorldHost accreditation will enhance the level of customer service at YXS.”
As an official non-sporting venue, a volunteer customer service desk will be set up in the Arrivals Area for the duration of the Games.
A number of improvements have taken place throughout the terminal including additional, multi-use seating in the Departure Lounge, new artwork displays, Games pageantry and upgrades to the bathrooms. Additional regular scheduled flights have been added, additional rental vehicles brought in and the BG Urban Grill has extended their operating hours.
There are three heavy travel days expected; starting February 12th the first week athletes arrive which means YXS will see an increase of over 230% on our regular daily traffic. The busiest day of all will be February 21st, known as transition day, where week one athletes leave and week two athletes arrive; the increase will be that of over 325%. March 1st and into the early morning hours of March 2nd, there will be an increase of over 205%.
PGAA Director of Operations, Cuyler Green, says “Safety and security are our key priorities. Extra support is in place for snow removal and agencies such as Transport Canada, Canadian Air Transportation Safety Authority and Nav Canada will have additional representatives onsite supporting local staff. We’ve made every effort to minimize the impact on regular scheduled operations.”
Four Canadian air carriers have signed contracts with the Federal Government to transport athletes on charter service. Some flights will use the terminal, while others will park on Apron V located on Boeing Road and bussed to their hotel. Between the three days mentioned, 71 flights directly related to the Games, will land and take off from YXS.
“We are proud to welcome athletes from over 800 communities across the nation to northern British Columbia”, says 2015 Canada Winter Games CEO Stuart Ballantyne. “YXS, an Official Community Partner, plays a critical role to the experience our athletes and visitors have. Our relationship is built on ensuring all travellers are treated to exceptional northern hospitality.”
The airport community is extremely excited to play such an integral role.
Let the Games begin.