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Parking at Kelowna
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The most recent investment at YLW saw the parking facilities upgraded alongside the terminal building and the airport is capable of providing spaces for over 2,600 vehicles across the fully lit short- and long-stay parking lots. As it is so well-equipped, Kelowna Airport does not operate a reservation system for parking. However, it is important to note that during peak seasons, these parking facilities can become congested and spaces may be limited.
Situated over the road from the terminal building, YLW’s short-term parking lot is a two-minute walk from check-in. Accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the open-air facility is fully lit, regularly patrolled by security and equipped with priority accessibility parking. It’s the ideal option if you’re only away for a few days and is just a quick walk to and from the terminal.
If you’re away for a week or more or you’re looking to save some money for the trip ahead, Kelowna Airport’s long-stay parking facility is more affordable than the short-stay option and still only a five-minute walk from the terminal.
There is also a complimentary shuttle service from the long-term lot right to the terminal forecourt, which is particularly useful if you’re traveling with family and you’ve got bags to carry (or if it’s not exactly walking weather). Usually parked near the entrance to the long-stay parking lot, simply give a shuttle driver a wave when you arrive and they’ll follow you to your space to take you to the terminal.
Whether you are traveling on business with a schedule to keep or you want to start enjoying your vacation as soon as possible, you can make use of the valet services at YLW. Book your place and simply pull up at the valet kiosk situated on Kelowna Airport’s forecourt, drop your keys off then head straight to check-in. The valet team will park your car and have it ready and waiting for you on the forecourt when you get back.
If you’re ferrying family and friends to and from the airport, your first 15 minutes in either the short-term or long-term parking lots at YLW are completely free. However, if you’d like a bit longer to wish your passengers a good trip, there are a number of metered bays right outside the terminal where you can park for up to 30 minutes.
Kelowna International Airport (YLW) is one of Canada’s busiest and fastest-growing airports, serving over 1.6 million passengers a year. The airport’s one-terminal building and single 8,900-foot (2,713-meter) runway facilitate more than 60 daily flights for a host of major international and domestic airlines. YLW’s rapid growth has confirmed its position as a key gateway between Canada, the USA, Mexico and the Caribbean.
Just over seven miles (11.5 kilometers) north east of the city of Kelowna, YLW is connected via Airport Way - its own dedicated slip road - to Highway 97, which is one of the longest continuously numbered highways in Canada. Running 1,293 miles (2,081 kilometers) from the USA border to Canada’s northernmost provinces, Highway 97 provides direct access to YLW, whether you’re taking the 10-minute trip from Kelowna City or driving from further afield.
Numerous bus services take advantage of Highway 97’s connectivity and run from throughout the region to the airport’s dedicated bus stop. You can catch the route 97 bus from the Orchard Park Shopping Center area to the University of British Columbia (UBCO), where you can change for the number 23 to the airport.
Neither Kelowna city nor Kelowna Airport presently have passenger train services and the nearest rail station is in the city of Kamloops, which is a two-hour drive north west of YLW. However, a network of intercity coach services provides access to Kelowna Airport from major cities throughout Canada and the northern states of America.
Kelowna Airport has been an important part of the community since locals purchased the land on which it sits in 1946. Ellison Field, as it was first known, comprised of a small terminal building, a grass airstrip and a control tower built on the back of a truck, but increasing demand over the years saw the airport grow at a remarkable rate.
During the 1980s, over $10 million was invested in upgrading the terminal, runway and airline facilities in order to bring Kelowna Airport up to the standard of other major North American airports. In 1998, a further $20 million was used to double the size of the terminal and triple the number of passengers it could accommodate from 150 to 450 per hour.
Already one of the fastest-growing airports in North America, Kelowna Airport has no intentions of stopping, with further plans to double its capacity and increase its international reach by 2025.
As well as being an airport with growing international significance, YLW displays its pride in the regional community in the wealth of food, retail and culture that it provides for its visitors. From Canada’s finest coffee, a selection of seasonal menus and farm-fresh fruit to go, to travel essentials, a wine cellar and even an art gallery, the terminal building is full of culture and cuisine to keep you comfortable, satisfied and entertained during your visit.
If you have any special requirements for your visit to YLW or any questions regarding the facilities, you can find further information and contact details on the airport’s services page.
Facilities at Kelowna Airport include:
Having expanded to welcome even more international travelers, Kelowna Airport is surrounded by a number of hotels providing a range of parking facilities and deals, whether you’re away for a few days, a few weeks or if you’re staying in Kelowna for the snow season.
If you’re traveling on business or celebrating the start of your trip in style, the luxurious Four Points by Sheraton Kelowna Airport Hotel is located on Airport Way, just over half a mile (one kilometer) from YLW. As well as free on-site parking for up to seven days, the Sheraton provides a complimentary 24-hour shuttle service to take you to and from the airport or into the city if you want to explore before you fly.
If you are traveling on a budget, Days Inn Kelowna is only a 10-minute drive south of Kelowna Airport and offers convenient, comfortable and affordable accommodation and parking on the edge of the city center. As well as free parking for the night of your stay, the Days Inn provides an extensive range of Park and Fly packages, a dedicated airport shuttle service and a number of innovative deals that combine accommodation and parking at the hotel, with tickets and access to seasonal events happening in and around Kelowna throughout the year.
From plug adapters and sun screen to new reading material and umbrellas, YLW is equipped with a number of shops and vending machines offering all the travel items you’ll need for your trip.
The airport is also home to a gift shop full of locally produced souvenirs, ranging from Aboriginal artwork to the finest Canadian maple syrup and a wine cellar that gives visitors the opportunity to take home some of the best bottles from the region’s much-celebrated vineyards and wineries.
Whether you’re craving an early-morning cup of coffee, looking for some lunch or getting into the vacation spirit with a glass of locally pressed grapes before you fly, YLW’s cafés, restaurants and bars have got you covered on both sides of security, which is especially useful if you find yourself feeling peckish during check-in.
The Kelowna Art Gallery maintains a satellite site at YLW where it displays selected works from visiting exhibitions and shows, alongside key pieces from its permanent collection. The terminal itself is also a spectacle to behold and its striking rotunda contains the renowned Canadian sculptor John Nutter’s breathtaking glass sculpture ‘Escape from Stella Polaris’ at its center.
Keeping the kids happy can make or break a family trip. Luckily, Kelowna Airport has everything you need to help get things off to a good start. The Jane Hoffman Kids’ Zone, located at the north end of the departures lounge, is filled with iPad games, interactive puzzles, beanbag chairs and TVs reserved for cartoons and children’s shows only. Whether they’re nervous about flying or tired and close to tears, a bit of fun before flying will work wonders.
If you’re in the middle of a hectic working week or you’re wanting to savor the moment before a momentous flight, head up to YLW’s peaceful observation deck and enjoy the panoramic view of the runway and a welcome break from the bustle of the departures lounge.
As part of its partnership with over a dozen local farmers, Kelowna Airport offers its visitors fresh and handpicked seasonal fruit from the surrounding region to enjoy in flight. The fruit is in packaging specially designed to protect its contents during travel, even if it’s stowed under aircraft seats or kept in overhead compartments for later.
At 7,595 feet (2,315 meters), the iconic Big White Mountain is the tallest in the Okanagan Highland and, as the name might suggest, it is a popular skiing and snowboarding hotspot that attracts millions of locals and international visitors every year.
Only an hour's drive from YLW, the Big White Resort covers 2,765 acres (1,119 hectares) of skiable terrain and offers a comprehensive range of gear for hire. More than 200 qualified personal instructors are on hand to help, whether it’s your first snow season or you just need a quick refresher, and the resort offers a range of unique courses, tours and family-friendly activities for those who want to get straight to the slopes.
Okanagan Lake is an epic, idyllic, 84-mile (135-kilometer) stretch of water just half an hour's drive from Kelowna Airport. A fjord lake formed by repeated glaciations over millions of years, it is a natural wonder that reaches 328 feet (100 meters) in depth just 32.8 feet (10 meters) from the shore, making it perfect for boating.
While steamboats originally used Okanagan Lake as a natural transport corridor during the early years of settlement in the region, the area is now a popular spot for recreational activities such as boating, swimming and fishing. However, if it’s not quite swimming weather, the lake’s verdant shoreline is home to a number of beaches, forests and footpaths. As well as a variety of species of fish, the lake is said to contain its very own monster: a 50-foot (15-meter) long serpent-like creature affectionately nicknamed Ogopogo, so be sure to keep the kids on look-out duty.
The indigenous Sqilx'w people have called the Okanagan Valley home for thousands of years. The Sncewips Heritage Museum is dedicated to preserving and showcasing its unique collection of Sqilx'w art and artefacts and promotes the traditions, practices and colorful stories of an ancient people.
While you're there, you can learn your first words of Nsyilxcən, the traditional language of the Sqilx'w people, before taking them home with you to wow family and friends and help spread awareness of this fascinating early Canadian culture. Open from Monday to Friday, The Sncewips Heritage Museum is 40-minute drive from YLW, across the Okanagan Lake.
Celebrating over 30 years of cultural exchange and global friendship between Kelowna and its sister city of Kasugai, Japan, the Kasugai Japanese Walled Garden provides an important space of tranquility amidst the noise and movement of downtown Kelowna. Drawing inspiration from traditional Japanese gardens, the walled garden is a beautiful, colorful balance of pine trees, koi-filled ponds and winding stone paths. Just as the walls protect the garden from the commotion of the world outside, they can make the garden difficult to spot from certain directions, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled or ask a passerby, as they’ll almost certainly know about the garden and be able to point you along the right path.
Thanks to its glacial past, the Okanagan Valley’s unique combination of sun-soaked hills, rich soils and pure waters means that it is on the forefront of Canadian vineyards and wineries. YLW is surrounded by numerous venues offering tours of their vines, demonstrations of their processes and, of course, tastings of their produce.
If you’ve got an afternoon to spare before you fly, one of the region’s most established vineyards, the Ancient Hill Estate, is only one mile (1.6 kilometers) from the airport, so why not let out your inner connoisseur and find yourself a new favorite pre-flight tipple?
If you’re after a laid-back way to pass the time before you head to the airport, the downtown Kelowna Farmers’ and Crafters’ Market runs indoor and outdoor markets throughout the year, offering everything from the season’s finest fruit, vegetables and freshly baked goods to handcrafted jewelry, clothing, homeware and organic cosmetics. Everything is sourced and produced by farmers and artisans within a 10-mile (16-kilometer) radius.
The Kelowna Markets are the perfect place to find souvenirs for yourself as well as thoughtful gifts for loved ones at home.
Although YLW has only one commercial terminal, it has been constantly expanded and upgraded in order to accommodate its rising visitor numbers. Measuring 76,000 square feet (7,100 square meters), the terminal building hosts over a dozen international and domestic airlines, including Air Canada, Alaska Airlines and WestJet, and serves as a vital gateway between Canada, the Americas and the Caribbean.
|Air Canada||Main terminal|
|Air Canada Express||Main terminal|
|Air Canada Rouge||Main terminal|
|Air North||Main terminal|
|Air Transat||Main terminal|
|Alaska Airlines (operated by Horizon Air)||Main terminal|
|Canadian North||Main terminal|
|Central Mountain Air||Main terminal|
|Pacific Coastal Airlines||Main terminal|
|North Cariboo Air||Main terminal|
|Sunwing Airlines||Main terminal|
|WestJet Encore||Main terminal|
Kelowna Airport is connected to Highway 97 by Airport Way, which will guide you from the highway straight to the parking lots and terminal building. Use the postal code
BC V1V 1S1 on your sat nav for directions.
Highway 97 runs almost all the way from the USA border to some of Canada’s northernmost territories, which makes it an easy drive to Kelowna Airport if you’re coming from further afield.
Kelowna regional bus route 23 and Vernon regional bus route 90 are currently the only services to stop at YLW directly, with route 23 running every 15 minutes from 5:30am to 6:30pm, Monday to Friday, and route 90 running during rush hour only.
However, numerous bus services from downtown Kelowna and neighboring cities and principalities such as Vernon and Lake Country make frequent stops at the UBC Okanagan Exchange Bus Terminal where both route 23 and route 90 buses also stop.
For more information and up-to-date schedules and timetables, check the Kelowna Regional Transit System website.
If you’re traveling to Kelowna Airport from further away, many of North America’s intercity coach services include the UBC Okanagan Exchange on their routes, making it easy to transfer to a local bus that will take you straight to the airport from there.
Unfortunately, neither Kelowna City nor Kelowna Airport is currently accessible via train. The closest rail station is in the city of Kamloops, a 93-mile (150-kilometer) drive to the north west of Kelowna.
Although YLW is not one of Canada’s biggest airports, it is consistently one of the country’s busiest and can become especially full during peak seasons. Don’t get caught out by queues and remember to arrive at the airport in plenty of time.
If you’re flying domestically from Kelowna Airport, you should be at the airport no less than 90 minutes prior to the departure of your flight and, if you’re traveling internationally, you should be at the airport with at least two hours to spare before you fly.
YLW is not yet accessible by train and there are currently only a few bus routes that serve the airport directly. If you’re traveling to the airport on public transport, it’s worth double-checking the relevant timetables and schedules to make sure you’ll get there in plenty of time.
Your first 15 minutes in both the short- and long-stay parking facilities at Kelowna Airport are free of charge, which makes dropping off and picking up your passengers easy and convenient for both you and them, since both parking lots are only a quick walk away from the terminal.
Unlike some other airports, YLW provides baggage carts for visitors to use free of charge. Carts can be found inside the terminal, outside the departures entrance and in both the short- and long-term parking areas.
Kelowna Airport has raised a substantial portion of the funds used to upgrade and improve the available facilities by asking every departing passenger to pay a small Airport Improvement Fee. YLW has plans to grow and make the airport bigger and better to serve the needs of passengers in the future, so if you find yourself passing through, why not do your part and help Kelowna Airport achieve its goal of becoming the best mid-sized airport in North America by 2045?
YLW is easily accessible via Highway 97 that runs all the way up western Canada from the American border. Whether you’re driving yourself or taking public transport, you’ll follow the 97 north from central Kelowna or south from the rest of the Okanagan Valley until you see signs for the Airport Way slip road.
Find more information in the ‘How to get to Kelowna Airport’ section of this guide or take a look at YLW’s own transportation page.
As part of its most recent expansion, Kelowna Airport saw its parking capacity increased to over 2,600 spaces across its short- and long-term parking facilities. Because of this abundance of space, the airport does not currently operate a reservation or pre-booked parking system. However, you can still take a look at the various parking options available at YLW by browsing Looking4.com to find the best space for your car before you fly.
YLW is fully committed to ensuring all of its visitors enjoy an easy, comfortable and enjoyable time at the airport. If you have any special requirements for your visit, you can find further information and contact details on the airport’s services page, although it’s also a good idea to inform your airline of your needs when booking your ticket so they can make all the necessary arrangements with the airport for you.
Items lost and found on airport property will be stored securely with Duty Management. To claim your property, either head to the information desk in departures or call the airport directly on +1 250 807 4300.
It is important to note that YLW is not responsible for any items or baggage left or lost during your flight and that you should contact your airline as soon as possible to reclaim anything left on board the plane.
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