Kamloops is a crossed T and a dotted I away from seven-day-a-week customs service.
Years ago, Canada Customs services were removed entirely from Kamloops Airport. After much lobbying, the service has returned on weekdays during business hours, MP Cathy McLeod said Wednesday.
But there is still a push to have the service for flights that arrive in the evenings or on weekends.
“We’re looking toward having that available,” she said.
Mayor Peter Milobar said the after-hours customs service is something that has been requested by surrounding tourism operations and other businesses, such as Mike Wiegele Heliski and Sun Peaks Resort.
“It makes a big difference to offer a service like this,” he said.
Without the service, after-hours flights coming from outside Canada have to stop somewhere else — Vancouver, Calgary, Kelowna — to have their passengers go through Border Services before moving on to Kamloops.
That extra stop racks up fuel, staffing and landing costs, as well as taking more time. Private planes face the same issues.
Kamloops airport manager Fred Legace said the number of private planes coming into Fulton Field might surprise some people; there were so many on a recent Saturday there was nowhere for them all to park.
Not only is the seven-day-a-week service on the cusp of returning, but the Kamloops model is being used as a template to provide the same service in other airports in the country.