A spokesperson for Victoria Airport Authority says the public can travel through the airport with confidence after the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) listed a Victoria-bound flight in its category of domestic flights with confirmed COVID-19 cases. (Black Press Media File)

A spokesperson for Victoria Airport Authority says the public can travel through the airport with confidence after the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) listed a Victoria-bound flight in its category of domestic flights with confirmed COVID-19 cases. (Black Press Media File)

Victoria airport officials confident with protocols, despite flight link to COVID-19

Enhanced cleaning measures meet provincial guidelines, departing passengers checked by airlines

A spokesperson for Victoria International Airport (YYJ) is not concerned about the airport’s reputation after the provincial reporting centre tracking communicable diseases linked the airport with COVID-19 cases.

“The public can be confident that the airport is doing what we can to make travel safe as much as we can,” said Rod Hunchak, director of business development and community relations at the Victoria International Airport.

The British Columbia Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) listed a Victoria-bound flight in its category of domestic flights with confirmed COVID-19 cases. The listing for Air Canada 8073, having arrived in Victoria on July 13 from Vancouver, does not list the number of confirmed cases and Hunchak could not go beyond what the BCCDC released.

“We found out the same time as the general public were notified,” Hunchak said, adding the airport is following the lead of public health officials.

Like BCCDC, Air Canada did not contact the airport directly. It is also not clear how many passengers travelled on the plane and where any individual with confirmed COVID-19 sat on the plane. The BCCDC’s website recommends passengers self-isolate and monitor for symptoms for 14 days following the flight.

RELATED: COVID-19 case landed in Victoria International Airport last week

Hunchak said the airport’s existing health and safety measures exist specifically for this type of situation.

“The air carriers are performing temperature checks prior to boarding,” he said. “Upon landing, we have health and safety measures in place for the protection of passengers as well as the general public. You can’t identify who may be infected with the virus. So what we do is to take a very precautionary approach based on the information that has been published by public health officials as well as best practices.”

Local practices are consistent with airports elsewhere, he added. They include enhanced cleaning measures, enhanced sanitization and disinfecting of high touch points such as hand rails, door handles, luggage carts — things like that.

Hunchak said the airport also “strongly encourages” people to wear face coverings while in the terminal building and limiting access to travellers, people assisting travellers and employees. “For example, for an arriving passenger we are asking them, if they are getting picked up, have their party park in the short-term lot, which is free. That way limits the number of contacts in the terminal building.”

Arriving passengers do not undergo the same procedures as departing ones. “Nobody is taking temperature checks on arriving passengers,” said Hunchak. “It’s at the point of the departure, and it is the air carrier who has to make the determination on the information that they get. If somebody is asymptomatic, you won’t catch that. That is why we have the additional measures in place.”

Hunchak said the airport will work with public authorities as the need arises. “But for us, our safety measures are in place and we are going to be maintaining those and adjusting those as we need to,” he said.


Like us on Facebook and follow @wolfgang_depner

wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com

Coronavirus

Just Posted

Reigning women’s World Champion Kaetlyn Osmond, who also took bronze at the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, will debut two brand new programs for the 2021 Stars On Ice tour, in Victoria May 15. (File photo)
Kurt Browning, Elvis Stojko hit the ice when Stars returns to Victoria

The star-studded lineup is makes a return after pandemic hiatus

Ryan Cootes, Erin Bremner-Mitchell, Bill Collins and Mike Williamson of Cascadia Seaweed Corporation are here seen holding up seaweed grown in Barkley Sound in July 2020. The Sidney-based company has organized the inaugural Seaweed Days Festival running May 17 to May 23. (Cascadia Seaweed Corporation/Submitted)
Global expert touts seaweed to open inaugural Sidney festival

Vincent Doumeizel also points to barrier facing the emerging industry

Howard English Hatchery volunteer Joscilyn Jupp poured one of many buckets of salmon fry into Douglas Creek on May 11, 2021. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
35,000 salmon fry released in Saanich park during closed event

Chum from Goldstream Hatchery trucked in to restore Douglas Creek salmon spawning

The orange parcel was bought by the CRD for $1.1 million to add to Mount Work Regional Park. (CRD map)
Capital Regional District expands Mount Work land for $1.1 million

Privately-owned 13.8 hectares in the Highlands is ecologcically valuable

North Saanich has received a report from the Urban Development Institute calling on the municipality to expand and densify its housing options in the face of demographic and environmental changes as the municipality continues its Official Community Plan review. (Black Press Media file photo)
North Saanich asked to create more affordable, diverse housing

Urban Development Institute says community faces demographic, environmental challenges

An avalanche near Highway 1 in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Canada will benefit from a $10 million grant from the B.C. government. (Photo by Parks Canada)
Avalanche Canada receives $10-million grant from B.C. government

Long sought-after funds to bolster organization’s important work

More “strings of lights” were seen on May 15, 2021, in night sky over Vancouver Island. (File photo)
Sicamous RCMP Sgt. Murray McNeil and Cpl. Wade Fisher present seven-year-old Cody Krabbendam of Ranchero with an award for bravery on July 22, 2020. (Contributed)
7-year old Shuswap boy receives medal of bravery for rescuing child at beach

Last summer Cody Krabbendam jumped into the lake to save another boy from drowning

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry update the province’s COVID-19 vaccine program, May 10, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate stays below 500 a day over weekend

14 more deaths, down to 350 in hospital as of Monday

Royal Bay Secondary School’s rainbow crosswalk was vandalized shortly after being painted but by Monday, coincidentally the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, the crosswalk had been cleaned up and students had surrounded it with chalk messages of support and celebration. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
B.C. high’s school’s pride crosswalk restored following ‘hateful’ graffiti attack

Hate terms, racial slur, phallic images spray-painted at Greater Victoria high school

Terrance Mack would have celebrated his 34th birthday on May 13, 2021. Mack’s family has identified him as the victim of a homicide in an apartment on Third Avenue in Port Alberni sometime in April. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
Family identifies Ucluelet man as victim of Vancouver Island homicide

Terrance Mack being remembered as ‘kind, gentle’ man

Nathan Zuk had left his mother’s residence in Whaletown on Cortes Island in mid-December 2020 in a 14’ skiff rowboat and headed to an unknown location near the Pryce Channel, Deer passage, or Toba Inlet. Photo courtesy RCMP
RCMP need help finding man who set off from Cortes Island in 14-foot rowboat

Nathan Zuk left in December, may have been last seen in Toba Inlet approximately three weeks ago

Emergency service workers at the collision scene along Highway 4 in Hilliers on Sunday, May 16. A motorcyclist was airlifted to hospital by BC Air Ambulance and later died. (Collin C photo)
UPDATE: Motorcyclist dies from injuries sustained in Mid-Island highway collision

BC Highway Patrol says impairment not a contributing factor in crash

An avalanche near Highway 1 in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Canada will benefit from a $10 million grant from the B.C. government. (Photo by Parks Canada)
Avalanche Canada receives $10-million grant from B.C. government

Long sought-after funds to bolster organization’s important work

Most Read