A new fly-in accommodation in southern British Columbia, Canada, promises to use the local airport as a gateway to some of the region’s many local attractions.
Teresa Simpson, a representative for Freedom 17 Investments Ltd.’s Airway Flats, said the development’s two short-term rentals are a draw for aviators who want a convenient reason to explore ‘Canada’s Napa Valley.’
“As a pilot, you’ve likely explored the skies and seen some incredible destinations from above. But have you ever considered the thrill of exploring a new location from the ground? If you’re looking for your next adventure, we have just the thing for you,” she said.
“Nestled in the heart of Osoyoos, we’ve just built a state-of-the-art, seven-bay building with residential units that boast breathtaking views of the surrounding vineyards and sparkling lake,” Simpson added. “And that’s just the beginning of the endless possibilities for excitement and relaxation that await you here.”
One of the area’s most prominent features is its world-renowned racing facility, which inspired the development and is based at Osoyoos Airport (CBB9).
“As home to the world-renowned Jacque Villanueva racetrack called Area 27, we offer a limitless playground for motorsports enthusiasts looking for premium luxury experiences,” she said. “Our clientele includes pilots who love to fly in on their planes or helicopters and indulge in new and exciting adventures.”
The airport is at an elevation of approximately 1,100 feet MSL and sports a 2,477-foot-long paved runway, and it presently does not offer fuel. Simpson added that the aircraft parking area is roughly one-eighth of a mile from the two rentable units, which share their living quarters with a large garage. Each rental includes an SUV for transportation in the area.
Rob McKibbon, a Rockwell Commander 114 owner and pilot from Salmon Arm, British Columbia, was one of the first to stay at the short-term accommodation. As a real estate agent, developer, and aviation enthusiast, McKibbon was bullish on the concept of fly-in Airbnbs.
Rob McKibbon in front of his Rockwell Commander 114, which he frequently flies to the United States from Canada [Credit: Rob McKibbon]
“Staying there was an absolute pleasure because, you know, you can land the plane right there, literally parking it just steps away from the front door of the rental. It’s a pretty popular concept in the States, but it’s really rare in Canada. So that was pretty nice, not to mention that the place was brand new. It is built with a loft above the garage and was staged, set up very well with high-end finishes. There are big, vaulted ceilings, a patio, as well as a deck that opens up and looks out over one of the many vineyards in the area. It was a pretty awesome place to stay.”
The airport is a convenient stop for McKibbon as he flies south in his many GA travels. His home base is several hours north, so staying in Osoyoos is a nice way to break up a flying vacation.
“I actually fly into Osoyoos quite a bit from Salmon Arm, which is about a three-hour drive north. Kelowna is kind of our big hub [in British Columbia], which is about an hour and a half from Osoyoos. Then, Salmon Arm is about an hour and a half north from there. When I fly down there, I fly over Vernon, then Kelowna and the international airport, then Penticton, Oliver, and land in Osoyoos. It’s a pretty good flying hub and there is a lot of GA activity in the region. And it’s all free airspace, other than right around Kelowna—otherwise, you can buzz around and do what you like because you are not in any controlled airspace environment.”
“I go to Osoyoos for recreational purposes. I am a member of the Area 27 racetrack, which is located in the nearby town of Oliver. I kind of got connected to that group through aviation and do a little bit of mild racing. I entered their under 250 horsepower race category and there are five races a year. In addition to racing, there are exceptional restaurants in the area, wine tours, and a beautiful lake with a beach. It’s a nice little destination where you can take your plane. You certainly won’t be disappointed by any of the amenities that you can go off and do. I’m planning another trip for the near future with my wife, and we are going to stay in the same place. It’s a lot of fun,” he said.
Osoyoos Airport’s runway, with the row of units next to the small vineyard. [Credit: Freedom 17 Investments/ Thomas Born]
For years, McKibbon has flown all over North America—with his favorite trips including Las Vegas, Palm Springs, and other locations on the west coast and in Mexico. He encourages his compatriots to the south of his border to consider flying into Canada and experiencing this unique accommodation for themselves.
“Being in Osoyoos, this airport is literally just a puddle jump from landing in the United States, in Oroville, Washington. Amongst all of the pilots in the pilot chats and everything, Oroville (Dorothy Scott International Airport, 0S7) is one the highly recommended customs-clearing airports for general aviation. So, we all land there and clear customs there. They are super familiar with Canadians flying in, are easy to get along with, and you are literally only there for about 15 minutes doing paperwork and inspections. Then off you go!”
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