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Airport looks to create jobs, diversify with land development

By | Community

Nanaimo Airport aims to create new jobs and even more economic benefit for the region by developing some of its vacant land.

The airport has 50 hectares of prime land available. Marketing it to attract businesses and investors helps fulfill the airport’s role as a key economic partner for Vancouver Island. Experts estimate airport operations last year generated $486 million in economic direct and indirect activity.

Developing the land, which is under federal jurisdiction, will also help diversify the airport’s revenue base. By doing that, the airport remains financially feasible for future generations. It also provides services to the fast-growing residential population in our neighbourhood.

All development will be carefully planned. Last year, Nanaimo Airport Commission hosted a land design charrette and then followed it up with a number of public consultations. Valuable input was received from local and regional government representatives, First Nations, and community members.

The Commission is now working on a real estate development plan that will serve as a guide and allow the airport to reach its full potential. The airport already has created a land use plan, calling for development in phases.

The Commission follows several land use planning principles. One of them gives key consideration to environmentally sensitive resources in all decisions. Another provides opportunities for the public, stakeholders and other interested parties to provide input.

The principles further require the Commission to ensure the integrity of broad public involvement is paramount to the process and must not be superseded by any individual or interest group.

Airport operations are also paramount under the planning principles. All land uses shall either be airport-related or complimentary. Initially the commission is seeking to attract aviation-based businesses.

Nanaimo Airport offers businesses the opportunity to capitalize on record passenger volume at a well-serviced, mid-sized airport with competitive development costs. Work on a multi-million-dollar Air Terminal Building expansion wraps up this fall.

For more information, visit NanaimoAirport.com.

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