Sunday,  September 20, 2020  7:28 am

COVID-19 tests will be available to WestJet guests at YVR this fall

COVID-19 tests will be available to WestJet guests at YVR this fall
Michael Pihach

Michael Pihach is an award-winning journalist with a keen interest in digital storytelling. In addition to PAX, Michael has also written for CBC Life, Ryerson University Magazine, IN Magazine, and Michael joins PAX after years of working at popular Canadian television shows, such as Steven and Chris, The Goods and The Marilyn Denis Show.

There's been a lot of talk about introducing COVID-19 testing at Canadian airports, but now it seems that idea might soon be a reality. 

WestJet and Vancouver International Airport (YVR) announced on Friday (Aug. 28th) that COVID-19 testing will be available to some WestJet passengers at YVR airport starting this fall. 

Tamara Vrooman, Vancouver Airport Authority's CEO, and Ed Sims, WestJet's President and CEO, broke the news in a blog post on YVR's website

A "pilot project"

In their post, the travel leaders called the testing a "pilot project" that will "incorporate current best practices on testing, pulling together industry players and experts to lead in the research and development of solutions that support aviation safety and slow the spread of COVID-19."

"Why are we doing this? Our industry has always been heavily focused on safety and for us this pilot is a natural evolution of our historical commitment. It supports our efforts to uphold top safety standards, while instilling confidence for those who need to travel. It’s also about building collective knowledge and literacy, which will help inform longer-term solutions around communicable diseases," the pair wrote.

The COVID-19 testing will be available to WestJet guests on select departing flights out of YVR, they said. 

Ed Sims, President and CEO at WestJet. (File photo/Pax Global Media)

Details will be unveiled in the "days and weeks ahead," they wrote, but they confirmed that they aim to launch the trial this fall. 

They said their team will "closely scrutinize the trial results" to learn how they can further improve travel processes and evolve safety measures as required.

"We understand that COVID-19 testing is a rapidly evolving field with many unknowns," they wrote. "But we also know that we must continue to search for solutions—and that means being proactive, trialing processes, seeing what works and what needs improvement—all in an effort to help restart the global aviation industry in a safe manner and do our part to support economic recovery."

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