Kelowna International Airport (YLW) is committed to the protection of the environment and to continually improving our environmental performance, which allows YLW to sustainably grow and serve the region.

In 2018, YLW became carbon accredited through Airports Council International (ACI) and its Carbon Accreditation program. As part of the ongoing program, in June 2022 YLW received Level 2 Carbon Accreditation from ACI, gaining recognition of our efforts to measure and reduce our carbon emissions. We are currently working on a plan to further reduce energy consumption and to meet our commitment to achieve carbon neutrality.

YLW environmental initiatives

YLW is always working on new plans to help reach our environmental goals. Read about the latest initiatives below:

Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Policy

Updated: 05 September 2023

The Kelowna International Airport (YLW) has been actively measuring and managing environmental impacts since the early 1990s. The airport has made great strides towards reducing emissions and recognizes the importance of further action to reach net zero emissions. YLW achieved Airport Carbon Accreditation (ACA) Level 1 in 2016, which represents its baseline year. In 2022, YLW set a greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction target to reduce Scope 1 & 2 (direct control) emission sources as defined by the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy.

2030 Target:

YLW is committed to reduce Scope 1 & 2 emissions by 50% per passenger and achieve carbon neutrality by 2030, with a plan to achieve net zero or net negative by 2040. Our 2030 target equates to an average of 3.57% annual emissions reduction per passenger over 2016 levels. YLW is committed to actively working with YLW Campus Partners on reducing their carbon footprint through innovations in infrastructure and policies.

LED light conversion

In June 2016, YLW completed the groundside incandescent light project. The project, which was a collaboration between YLW and Bouygues Energies and Services, involved changing 241 parking lot and road lights from High Pressure Sodium to LED. In 2019, more lighting conversion will take place as we replace lights in parking areas, on walkways and in the airfield.

The old incandescent fixtures drew approx. 11 amps. per unit, while the new units draw a mere 0.5 amps each, reducing YLW’s overall energy consumption by 141,000 k.W.h. per year! It will also potentially save 104 metric tonnes of CO2 annually.

The project also brings with it hefty monetary savings, helping keep YLW a low-cost airport. In total, YLW’s annual energy costs will be reduced by approximately $12,000, in addition to receiving a nearly $20,000 rebate from FortisBC over the next two years. The LED lights come with a standard 10-year warranty, which will also save YLW maintenance and replacement charges when compared to the 5-10 year lifespan of the old High Pressure Sodium lights.

The new lighting fixtures provide better lighting by providing a higher, uniform lighting output to increase safety and security of people and vehicles.

Electric vehicle charging stations

In 2019, four new electric vehicle charging stations were installed at the Cell Phone Waiting Area, located off Airport Way.

Two fast charging stations can charge a compact electric vehicle in about a half an hour, as compared to a Level-2 stations that requires about three to four hours. 

Construction of an oil-water separator

In February 2020, construction will begin on a new oil-water separator to protect Mill Creek's ecosystem.

Once complete in Spring 2020, the separator will work by collecting oil and silt from entering the creek. 

Environmentally friendly cleaning products

We pride ourselves on being an environmentally friendly organization that betters our surrounding community. We strive to contribute toward environmental protection and sustainable development.

That’s why YLW has partnered with Bouygues Energies and Services Canada (Bouygues) to use only the highest standards of cleaning supplies, in the safest environment possible. In line with Bouygues’ commitments made in their corporate Environmental and Sustainable Procurement policies, we are proud to use green certified cleaning products at the airport. These cleaning products are all Green Seal or EcoLogo certified.

In June 2015, after a careful review of our current practices, Bouygues selected Diversey as the preferred supplier of an improved line of green certified products. The new line of products consists of a bathroom cleaner, a multi-purpose and glass cleaner, a disinfectant a cream cleanser and a heavy-duty floor cleaner.

YLW wants you to feel safe in all aspects during your time at the airport. With this new line of green certified supplies, you can rest assured that you and your family are in contact with only the safest and most environmentally friendly cleaning products.

RNP flight paths

YLW has developed into one of the fastest growing airports in the country. The airport is a key transportation hub for the general aviation industry including flight schools, private aircrafts, helicopters, as well as charter and medical flights.

Currently aircraft flying into YLW use a primary public navigation approach procedure based using radio signals.  Technology and regulations are changing.  In order to maintain the current accessibility into YLW, NAVCANADA is incorporating new satellite technology into our navigation system (RNAV).  Following this will be the development of a public Required Navigation Performance (RNP) procedure which will be a benefit to this airport and the aircraft flying into YLW due to our mountainous terrain.    

Putting new RNP procedures in place provide many benefits including safety, environmental and noise reduction. Implementing RNP in Canada is part of Canada’s Action Plan to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Aviation.  WestJet invested in this technology for their aircraft and they have been using RNP approaches for several years with great success. In 2013 they found their YLW RNP operations saved 310,000 L of fuel and 396,000 m3 CO2.  By late fall 2015 new RNP procedures will be in place that will enable other operators to use the RNP as they  upgrade their aircraft capabilities and technologies.

flight paths

Aviation noise concerns

YLW is sensitive to the noise concerns voiced by citizens of the Okanagan.

In a continuing effort to minimize the effect of aircraft related noise, the airport has a very proactive noise management program. Each noise concern received by the Airport is investigated, and brought to the attention of those responsible, and in some cases, regulatory authorities. In addition to this, the Airport meets with Airport tenants, regulatory bodies and airlines serving Kelowna on an annual basis to discuss noise concerns and mitigation plans. Through this approach of investigation and education, we hope to minimize the impact of noise on the local residents, and prevent recurring problems.

Your comments are appreciated and are taken seriously; however, only concerns with contact information will be registered and replied to. A representative from the Airport will contact you to discuss your concern.

Submit Noise Concerns

Aviation complaints away from Kelowna Airport

For aircraft noise or low flying aircraft concerns that occur outside the 5km radius of YLW (i.e. over Okanagan Lake, the downtown centre or throughout the Okanagan Valley), please contact Transport Canada:

Requests to: aviation.pac@tc.gc.ca
Questions to: 1-800-305-2059

For more information see Civil Aviation Communications Centre.