Nanaimo Airport has for decades been the centre of Central Vancouver Island aviation. And by supporting the aviators of today and tomorrow, it will continue to lead the sector well into the future.
The airport is home to commercial airlines, private pilots and aviation buffs in the Nanaimo Flying Club, and the Mid-Island Air Search and Rescue volunteers. It also works with the next generation of aviators with area air cadet squadron.
The airport and the flying club were both born in 1942. Today the club has 130 members and serves as the meeting place for members, pilots and area aircraft owners. It hosts monthly fly-ins, drawing planes from around B.C. And it helps pilots keep up on their training. Members don’t have to own a plane; they can use a club-owned Cessna 172.
The flying club also supports the community. It offers an annual scholarship, for example. And it works with the Canadian Owners and Pilots Association’s COPA for Kids Aviation Program. Members take youths aged 8 to 17 on free demonstration flights to provide a motivational aviation experience.
Youth with an interest in flying also benefit from Nanaimo Airport’s support for 205 Collishaw Nanaimo air cadets. The airport host’s the squadron’s annual review as well as provided airspace for some of the island’s cadet glider training.
The cadets — aged 12 to 18 — take part in a variety of activities that helps them grow into the leaders of tomorrow. They can also earn credits towards their secondary school graduation.
The airport, reflecting its focus on safety, is also home base for Mid Island Air Search and Rescue. The not-for-profit organization uses light aircraft and ground vehicles to serve the public. Volunteers help locate aircraft and missing hikers, boaters and back-country travelers.
Nanaimo Airport’s support for each of the organizations reflects its commitment to serving the communities in its region.