As the weather warms up, so is the travel news! Here’s a look at some of the highlights making news this spring …
YVR action plan to boost passenger support during extreme weather
Vancouver International Airport announced a $40-million action plan to keep more aircraft moving and passengers better informed in the event of extreme weather events.
The plan follows YVR’s review of the December 2022 travel disruption, and direct feedback from more than 1,500 passengers and members of the public.
Five key focus areas include: Enhancing winter and irregular operations; Enhancing cross-team collaboration; accelerating investments in technology and data; enhancing in-terminal passenger supports; and enhancing communications to passengers and public.
“While the review confirms our safety promise was kept, it shows that our customer service commitment was not,” said Tamara Vrooman, President and CEO of Vancouver Airport Authority. “Passengers clearly told us that, while they recognize aviation is a complex ecosystem of different partners and players, they want YVR to take a leading role in providing more information, better access to front-line staff, and other improvements in times of extreme travel disruption – this action plan provides our roadmap for doing just that.”
Seasonal pay parking coming to Tofino
Visitors to the west coast of Vancouver Island will see some new parking fees in downtown Tofino, with the new program expected to roll out May 20.
After pay parking was launched at local beaches in 2021, an initial plan to introduce downtown parking fees in 2022 was delayed a year. Pay parking will run seasonally from May to October, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Proposed rates are $1.50 per hour for the first two hours, $2 per hour for the third and fourth hour, $2.50 per hour for the fifth and sixth hour and $3 per hour for the seventh and eighth hour, meaning someone who takes up the same parking spot from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. would pay $18.
Accessibility boost for Rathtrevor Beach in Parksville, BC
On the eastern side of the Island, Parksville’s popular Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park is sporting new accessibility upgrades.
In addition to paving the day-use parking lot, a section of trail was upgraded for enhanced access.
Part of the Province’s commitment to making B.C. parks more inclusive and accessible, more than $3.6 million has been committed over the next three years to continue upgrading facilities, such as washrooms, parking lots and trails, to an accessible standard in parks near urban centres.
Everett’s Flying Heritage and Combat Armor Museum reopens
In Everett, Wash., the Flying Heritage and Combat Armor Museum at Paine Field will reopen its doors to the public in time for U.S. Memorial Day weekend.
After being closed for three years, the showcase for the late Paul Allen’s private collection of Second World War and Cold War aircraft and vintage military vehicles welcomes guests Saturday, May 27.
With a new owner, Walmart heir Steuart Walton, Flying Heritage will open Saturdays and Sundays until June 14, before moving to a Wednesday through Sunday schedule.
Allen, co-founder of Microsoft, launched the museum in 2004, opening his vintage aircraft collection to the public at an Arlington airfield location, before moving it to Paine Field in Everett, where it’s housed in three hangars.
Tickets must be purchased in advance and will be available beginning May 1 at flyingheritage.org
LEGOLAND and SeaWorld San Diego launch new attractions
San Diego visitors can see the city in miniature with a visit to LEGOLAND California Resort’s Miniland U.S.A. A team of 70 Master Model Builders used more than 5 million LEGO bricks to create a display that includes a realistic 30-foot beach, streets lined with 120 palm trees, and famous landmarks such as the Gaslamp District, Coronado, Petco Park and the San Diego coastline. The pint-sized city joins New York, Washington D.C., Las Vegas and San Francisco, all located in Miniland U.S.A, at the heart of the park, located in Carlsbad, north of San Diego.
And thrill-seekers take note: SeaWorld San Diego’s highly anticipated coaster, Arctic Rescue, is set to open this spring. The family-friendly multi-launch ride – the longest and fastest straddle coaster on the West Coast – will have guests hop on a snowmobile and launch at up to 64 km/h (40 mph) on a chilly adventure, racing through the unpredictable arctic climate to help endangered animals.