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When Joey Hidber left for the airport in Calgary this morning he knew he was returning home to Kelowna. What he didn't know was that he would be selected to represent the airport's 2 millionth passenger of the year. Out of nowhere, Hidber became the centre of attention as Kelowna International Airport celebrated the milestone.
"Reaching 2 million passengers this year is an incredible achievement for YLW and the Okanagan," said Airport Director Sam Samaddar.
Samaddar pointed out that just 13 years ago the airport hit the 1 million passenger mark and a lot of that growth has happened since 2015. He admits part of it is just the growth of the community, but the airport can take credit for making some of the growth by the way it's accommodated the air carriers and their increasing passenger loads.
"We could not have reached this milestone without the help of our airport tenants, airline and tourism partners, stakeholders, and of course, our passengers," said Samaddar.
The airport projects traffic to continue to rise substantially over the next few decades and reach 3.5 Million by 2045. In an effort to keep pace with the growth, the airport has plans to spend $183 million on expansion and other improvements.