Residents and tourists in Metro Vancouver will soon be able to experience the thrill of flying, without having to jump out of a plane and plummet thousands of feet.
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Construction is now underway on the long-proposed iFly Vancouver — a new indoor recreational skydiving centre at 9151 Van Horne Way in North Richmond, conveniently located right next to SkyTrain’s Bridgeport Station.
Austin-based iFly is an international skydiving attraction company with dozens of locations around the world, including Calgary and Toronto.
The company’s latest project received its development application approval from the City of Richmond last year.
In an email to Daily Hive, Lynda Sharpe with iFly confirmed that construction is on pace for an opening in mid-to-late summer of 2020.
All purposes are contained within inside a narrow 80-ft-tall, three-storey building with 11,600 sq. ft. of floor area, with the height of the building accommodating the vertical skydiving chamber and powerful wind-generating fans capable of airflows of 300 km/hr.
According to iFly’s website, flyers from ages three and up and with all abilities can indoor skydive. No experience is needed, as all flights are always accompanied by instructors.
Each flight inside the wind tunnel, floating within a column of air, typically lasts about 60 seconds, with each experience lasting under two hours, including check-in time, the training session, and time to dress and remove the flight suit.
“A vertical wind tunnel has fans at the top to draw air through the flight chamber and then push it back down the sides through Return Air Towers. That leads to an inlet contractor that compresses and speeds up the air before it reenters the flight chamber. The result: a smooth column of air that enables you to fly,” reads the website’s description of how the system works.
Aside from the skydiving chamber, iFly Vancouver will also have special event rooms that allow for children’s and corporate parties and tour groups.
The attraction is adjacent to the existing Ace Badminton Centre; the existing ground-level parking lot will be reconstructed for the iFly building. This will provide 92 vehicle parking stalls, with 74 stalls for the badminton centre and 18 spaces for iFly.