YKF? Why not?

The Region of Waterloo International Airport (YKF) has the released the results of their online new destination twitter contest. As you can see, Halifax is a top choice, which was a safe bet all along.

The ability of local travelers (and the tourists we attract) to fly directly in and out of the region is very attractive, and helps to boost our economic vitality. Service levels are increasing, with Bearskin growing again from four to five daily trips to Ottawa (having launched the route with three just a few short years ago). WestJet is also flying new seasonal service to Vancouver, but you’ll remember that the “seasonal” service to Calgary was eventually made a permanent fixture given early adoption and passenger volume.

There is a serious environmental challenge to deal with, as well as the impact of noise on nearby properties. Flight has a bad wrap for emissions, and is often unaccounted for in international negotiations on climate. I hope that with the new Aviation Program at the University of Waterloo, our community could become a focal point for research into improving the environmental performance of flight, and keep the world connected without doing damage to our atmosphere.

However, until rail service is improved (you can trust there will be future blog posts here promoting high speed rail), we can expect passengers to choose flight, especially for distances beyond the Windsor-Quebec Corridor. That being said, if you’ve never taken the train to Vancouver, or Halifax, I can heartily recommend both adventures!

If the choice is flight, we can at least eliminate the trip to Toronto for trips served at our local airport. To better support the Region’s investment in this facility (including the new Combined Airport / Fleet Maintenance and Firehall Services Facility), we need to begin serving the airport with Grand River Transit.

Such service could also link Breslau to Kitchener and Cambridge via Victoria Street and Fountain Street, with possible connections through to Conestoga College. Not only would this serve both flight passengers and airport employees, but the route would represent a continuation of the commitment to connect our Townships (begun with the current service to St. Jacobs and Elmira).

Our airport is a critical element of both our economic health and our transportation infrastructure. Let’s help it to succeed, and do what is needed for all our major services: demand the best performance, while delivering the resources that make excellence possible.

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