“You haven’t seen a tree until you’ve seen its shadow from the sky.” -Amelia Earhart
Harbour Air Seaplanes and Westcoast Air
Harbour Air Seaplanes and Westcoast Air operate daily flights from Coal Harbour to Comox, Ganges, Maple Bay, Nanaimo, Sechelt, and Victoria. They provide free coffee, muffins, wi-fi, and shuttle service to the Canada Line and Vancouver International Airport.
Harbour Air offers a wide range of tours including a spectacular flight around the towering peaks of the Olympic Mountains and glaciers, and along the incredibly rugged shorelines of Vancouver Island. They also fly into a private dock at the world-renowned Butchart Gardens. The Mail Run is operated daily with scheduled flights from Coal Harbour to quaint villages in the Gulf Islands. The route may vary each trip, but the experience to see some of British Columbia’s most beautiful scenery will leave you breathless.
SaltSpring Air is a locally owned airline based out of Ganges on Saltspring Island in British Columbia. They offer scheduled seaplane service between Saltspring Island, Vancouver International Airport, Downtown Vancouver/Vancouver Harbour, and Maple Bay on Vancouver Island. Saltspring Air also provides seaplane flights to many Gulf Islands, and charter sightseeing flights to any destination in the West Coast of British Columbia. They are located at 1601 Bayshore Drive beside the Westin Bayshore.
Seair Seaplanes operates up to 12 daily flights from Coal Harbour to Nanaimo. They also have charter service to secluded coves and lakes where visitors can fish for salmon and trout, or spend a relaxing afternoon enjoying a gourmet picnic lunch at a secluded lake.
Seair also has several exciting tours, including a Chatterbox Falls Excursion, the Glacier and Alpine Experience, a Nanaimo Kayak Adventure, Saltspring Island, Saturna Island Wine Tasting, and the Vancouver City Skyline.
Coal Harbour is an area in Burrard Inlet between the Brockton and Downtown Peninsulas in Vancouver, British Columbia. It is also the name of an upscale neighbourhood adjacent to its southern shoreline. Coal Harbour is bounded by Stanley Park to the north and the Financial District in the south. To its east is Deadman’s Island, the site of the naval station and museum HMCS Discovery. The discovery of coal in the harbour in 1862 inspired its name. A floating gas station for marine vessels is located within Coal Harbour.
The Coal Harbour Sea Plane Base is located in the harbour two blocks from Canada Place. The water airport is within walking distance of the Helijet heliport and the BC Transit waterfront station, where the SeaBus can be taken to North Vancouver. It is classified as an airport and an airport of entry by NAV CANADA and is staffed by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). Presently, CBSA officers at this airport handle general aviation aircraft with no more than 15 passengers.
The Vancouver Harbour Control Tower is the only control tower in Canada for a water airport. At 142 metres (466 feet) above ground it is the highest control tower in the world, and is located on top of the Granville Square Building. The airport handles more than 54,000 aircraft movements annually, and is the thirty-third busiest in Canada. It is the busiest water airport in Canada, and is the eighth busiest in British Columbia.
The aircraft docking area is located on the water west of Canada Place. This part of Coal Harbour is listed by NAV CANADA as a restricted area and no aircraft are permitted to take off, land or move through the zone at a high speed. Just north of Canada Place is a section called “Area Alfa,” which is the main aircraft operating zone. The route from Coal Harbour to Victoria Inner Harbour Airport is Canada’s busiest seaplane route.