Fire Chief Don Jolley of Pitt Meadows Fire and Rescue says the incident occurred mid-afternoon Tuesday when the small plane declared an emergency landing about 40 kilometres east of Vancouver.
Instead, he says the plane crashed on a taxi way at the airport, and its single occupant was airlifted to Royal Columbia Hospital in New Westminster.
Airport spokeswoman Ashley Hilland says the pilot was in stable condition and officials won't know what caused the incident until a full assessment of the scene is complete.
The Transportation Safety Board says it has deployed a team of investigators to the site of the Cessna 152 accident.
The airport's website says it operates three paved and one water runway and in 2011 was the third busiest airport in B.C.'s Lower Mainland.