Victoria International Airport
|Continent: North America||Country: Canada||Region: British Columbia|
|Airport type||Mixed-Use Commerical|
|Overview map||Google Maps|
A relatively quiet airport but with good facilities and opportunities for spotting/photography. Scheduled traffic is limited - AC Jazz, WestJet, Horizon, occasional Air Canada and some local commuter carriers. Can be slow at times, but one of the best places to get close to Dash-8s, Canadair jets etc. as well as the larger 737s/A320s.
Official Spotting Locations
1. Public viewing area on the 3rd floor of the terminal. Glass fronted, facing North. A few seats. Closed Oct. 1st-21st 2007
2. External viewing "mound" to the left of the terminal. A small raised area overlooking the West ramp and taxiway. Tables and seats. Photography (50-100mm) possible over or through the fence. Note: As of Oct. 2007 the area has been reopened, but is not "officially" opened for spotting.
Other Spotting Locations
Two left turns out of the terminal onto Canora Rd. leads to the East hangars. The main road curves right leaving a small cul-de-sac. This overlooks the helicopter base, the FBO ramp and the threshold of 27. Good spotting and photography from here, but no facilities - the locals bring their cars. A step ladder may help for photographers as the fence is quite high.
A small park under the approach to runway 09. A little lower than the airport, no runways are visible here but 09 traffic passes directly overhead. A short walk along the beach gives a few opportunities for photos but nothing really outstanding. Also a small vehicle ramp access gate just south of the park offers some nice views when 09 is active, and generally no hassle from the authorities if you choose to park there, as long as you're not blocking access.
Turn right out of the terminal. The Forests base is located here and occasional air tankers are present in season. The Air Force has a hangar full of geriatric Sea Kings but it is firmly shut most of the time, in which case some taxiing shots of 09 traffic can be had from the parking lot.
Locations to Avoid
Air Force Parking Lot
If the Sea Kings are active, you may be approached by a military guard. Depending on his mood you may be asked to leave.
Air Canada: Vancouver, Toronto
Air Canada Jazz: Vancouver, Calgary
Airspeed Aviation: Abbotsford
Horizon Air: Seattle
Pacific Coastal Airlines: Vancouver (South Terminal)
Westjet: Edmonton, Kelowna, Calgary, Toronto
Facilities and Transportation
All terminal facilites are open to non-passengers. There is a sporadic bus service (70B) from Victoria to the ferry dock which calls at the airport.