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

(PQB News file photo)
Fireworks report highlights enforcement challenges for Regional District of Nanaimo

Director: ‘I just think it’s wasting everybody’s time’

Co-creatorsAdrianna Hatton and Malcolm McKenzie stand next to the little free library revealed Sunday at 9710 First St. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Literary crowd helps opens little free library in Sidney

Located at 9710 First St., the book sharing box features original art and reclaimed wood

Deep Cove Elementary School principal Shelley Hardcastle (right) and vice-principal Mary Kaercher help to restock Reay Creek with fish – in this case, coho fry – after a recent bleach spill killed hundreds of fish. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
North Saanich’s Deep Cove Elementary School helps to restock Sidney’s Reay Creek

Restocking followed bleach spill that killed hundreds of fish in creek

A new report pegs the annual cost of hiring a third party to monitor use of pickleball courts in North Saanich at $12,000. (Black Press Media file photo).
North Saanich could end up hiring third party to monitor pickleball courts

Other options up for consideration include use of cameras and timed locks

The barred owl is the most likely to be spotted in the south Island. (Ann Nightingale photo)
Barred owls dominate Greater Victoria owl-scape

Western screech owl population decimated, partly due to barred owls

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Most Read