All Posts By

Nanaimo Airport

A safe and healthy workplace at Nanaimo Airport

By Safety Updates

Helping its staff stay healthy during the pandemic reflects Nanaimo Airport’s commitment to its team. It’s also part of the airport’s commitment to passenger safety.

The airport introduced new workplace safety protocols when COVD-19 hit earlier this year. The measures support team members and reduce the risk of coronavirus transmission. The protocols also help staff keep their families, as well as travellers, healthy and safe.

Some of the workplace actions include:

  • Additional disinfecting

Nanaimo Airport has dedicated more hours every day for enhanced cleaning. The janitorial team regularly disinfects high-touch surfaces, including tables, light switches and doorknobs.

  • Personal protective equipment

The airport provides masks, gloves and hand sanitizer for its employees. Staff wear masks when they can’t safely distance from other workers or the public. This includes the Air Terminal Building, hallways, stairways, meeting and lunch rooms (other than when eating) and shop facilities.

  • Plexiglas barriers

Barriers have been added to counters in the Air Terminal Building. This includes check-in counters, boarding gates, customer service counters and car rental counters. The barriers protect employees of the airport and its business partners, passengers and the public.

  • Sanitizing vehicles

Staff using company vehicles sanitize steering wheels, seatbelts, door handles, etc. They use a disinfectant spray or wipe. Masks are required when two or more people are in an airport vehicle.

  • Working from home

For appropriate positions, Nanaimo Airport accommodates employees working remotely. It ensures they have the tools and equipment needed to create a safe and functional home work space. This protocol is especially helpful for employees who have underlying health issues or are immune-compromised. It also helps protect their families.

  • Supporting employee wellness

The airport works with its team members to ensure they self-monitor for any signs of illness before every shift. Employees are directed to remain at home if they experience any COVID-19 symptoms.

Nanaimo Airport safety measures give travellers confidence

By Advisory, Safety Updates, Uncategorized

As always, safety is Nanaimo Airport’s (YCD) top priority. The airport has taken additional safety and hygiene precautions to reduce the risk of spreading disease so people can travel with confidence.

Operating under federal jurisdiction, YCD facilitates air service that keeps critical supply lines open. Airports also play a key role in the country’s economic recovery. YCD connects businesses to their markets and helps to keep people employed.

To continue those essential roles, the airport’s COVID-19 action plan reduces risks for travellers, employees, business partners, contractors and other members of the YCD community.

Here’s what you can expect when using Nanaimo Airport:

·         Limited terminal access

To reduce risk to everyone, it’s important that only essential employees and travellers enter the terminal building. If you’re picking up or dropping someone off, please park in the short-term area immediately outside the terminal and wait in your vehicle. If you must go inside to assist someone, one person is allowed.

  • Carry a mask

For your safety, Nanaimo Airport requires everyone to wear a mask or face covering at all times in the terminal building.  Masks are required for all passengers during security screening, boarding, and during your flight. You may not be allowed to check-in or board your flight without one. (All passengers must also undergo a temperature check before boarding the aircraft.)

  • Increased sanitization

The airport has increased cleaning and disinfecting of common touch points such as luggage carts, gate counters and bathrooms. For your convenience, additional hand sanitizing units have been added throughout the terminal.

  • Social distancing barriers

Plexiglass barriers and 2-meter floor markings throughout the terminal help users maintain safe distancing. Nanaimo Airport’s roomy new departure lounge allows plenty of social distancing while you wait for your flight.

  • Online parking app

You can reduce touchpoints by using the Honk mobile app to pay for parking.

Transfer Beach: A local favourite.

By Travel Tips

If you ask any resident of Ladysmith where the most popular place for family gatherings, beach days, kayak sessions or enjoying fresh food from a food truck by a water park, they’ll likely tell you that it’s Transfer Beach; one of Vancouver Island’s many beloved beaches. Located on the east coast of Vancouver Island, in a picturesque harbour surrounded by hills of Douglas Fir and Western Cedars, Transfer Beach has captured local’s and tourist’s hearts alike.

Some of the summer activities enjoyed at Transfer Beach include swimming, picnicking, Frisbee, beach volleyball and kayaking. For children there is a playground and a water spray park. There is also the sandy beach and swimming, as well as kayak, paddle board and canoe rentals. Transfer Beach also includes an off-leash dog area, making it a popular area for long strolls with furry family members.

“Transfer Beach, Ladysmith BC” by maplemusketeer is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Aside from public recreational activities, there’s even more to this scenic park than meets the eye.  All throughout the grounds are bits of history with plaques and information on them for visitors to enjoy and learn even more about the community. Not a history buff? These benches are also popular spots for bird watching. Some of the birds in the area include Bald Eagles, Blue Herons and lots of seagulls.

Are you wondering why the Transfer Beach gained its name? In the early 1900’s, the beach was part of the shoreline that housed a facility for off-loading contents from the ferries carrying coal and lumber that sailed from Vancouver. It was near Transfer Beach that these goods were transferred, thus giving the picturesque area its namesake!

Transfer Beach is just 8 minutes South of Nanaimo Airport, with direct access off the Trans Canada Highway.


Looking for more things to do around Vancouver Island? Check out our Top 5 spots to explore in Port Alberni this summer!

Nanaimo Airport ensures vital air service continues

By Uncategorized

Nanaimo Airport (YCD) has maintained passenger and cargo service while navigating the most challenging time in its history. It ensures essential services, critical supplies and commerce safely continue during the pandemic.

The airport enables freight to move, air ambulances to provide life-saving service, and essential workers to fly to jobs.

And as Canada and B.C. chart their recovery, the airport again plays a vital role for the communities it serves. Air Canada and WestJet have increased flights to Vancouver and Calgary to facilitate travel within Canada. They offered 27 flights per week in July between those destinations. That’s up substantially from the seven weekly flights at the height of the pandemic.

“We remain committed to being the Island’s gateway to the world, a critical economic driver for the region, and a strong community partner,” says Nanaimo Airport CEO and President Dave Devana.

A steady recovery in the airline sector is an important factor in the regional economy. In 2019 YCD activities generated an estimated $486 million in economic impact. The total includes more than 2,750 direct and indirect jobs that Central Island families depend upon for their livelihood.

Nanaimo Airport has maintained air service even as the pandemic hurt its main revenue source – passenger travel. Many operating expenses are locked in.

The pandemic has also affected businesses at the airport. They range from transportation to food service providers. “We’re working together with airport partners to make sure we remain open for business and ready for recovery,” says Devana. “When the travelling public is ready to fly, we will provide our exceptional customer service in a safety-first environment.”

Safety remains YCD’s priority. Its comprehensive COVID-19 policies, outlined in an airport safety video, are designed to protect all users.

“We support our communities and are grateful for, and rely on, their support during these challenging times,” Devana says.

Nanaimo Airport Commission manages and operates YCD as a not-for-profit, community-based organization. It reinvests earnings into Airport infrastructure and improvements that support the Central Island as the best place to live, work and play.

Top 5 spots to explore in Port Alberni this summer

By Travel Tips

This summer is the summer to explore close to home. Luckily, we live in one of the most beautiful places in the world, so finding amazing new adventures and locations is easy.

Today we want to feature Port Alberni/ the Alberni Valley, and talk about our top 5 spots that you should out this summer.


Hole in the wall

The Hole in the wall is a unique land feature that was originally the opening for a pipeline that provided the town of port Alberni with fresh water. The pipeline was eventually removed, the water continued and eventually eroded what was left of the wooden pipeline, leaving behind the “Hole In The Wall”.

The short walk takes approximately 15 minutes from the parking lot, and the trail is well marked. Click here for more info.

Hole in the wall waterfall

Hole in the wall. Photo by Rebecca Bollwitt

Stamp River Provincial Park

Enjoy views of the waterfall or make your way through the many trails and paths that work their way through the beautiful old growth forest. The park is named after Captain Edward Stamp,

the pioneer who build Port Alberni’s earliest sawmill. A major event at the park is the salmon run which happens in late August and continues into December with the Coho and Chinook spawns. Click here to learn more.

Stamp River Falls

Stamp River Falls. Photo by David Stanley

Sproat Lake Provincial Park

Sproat Lake provincial park is a must see if you are looking for a beautiful afternoon picnic spot, or to get away for some camping. The park has an incredible beach and swimming area, and trails that can lead you down to some petroglyphs that are carved into a cliff side along the lake. For more info, click here.

Sproat Lake Petroglyphs

Sproat Lake Petroglyphs. Photo by Kevstan

Harbour Quay

Looking to do some shopping or try some local eats? The Harbour Quay has some amazing local spots that are sure to hit the spot. Not to mention the beautiful views of the inlet, and some incredible local art. The Harbour is also home to the MV Frances Barkley that can take you on an incredible marine journey out to the coastal towns of Bamfield and Kildonan. To learn more, click here.

The Harbour Quay.

The Harbour Quay.

Fossli Provincial Park

Fossli Provincial Park is a beautiful undeveloped park located on Sproat lake. The park features a 3.4km loop trail that takes you to an old homestead site. You will also find a beautiful creek, waterfall and a suspension bridge. For more info on the park, and how to get there, click here.

Fossil Falls. Photo by Sandy McRuer

Fossli Falls. Photo by Sandy McRuer

New Nanaimo Airport CEO a leader and innovator

By Uncategorized

Nanaimo Airport’s new President and Chief Executive Office is an innovator with a focus on environmental stewardship and economic development.

Dave Devana assumed the airport’s top position in May. He succeeds the retiring Mike Hooper. For more than 20 years Devana led organizations as Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) and Chief Financial Officer in local government. He’s a resident of north Nanaimo, where he lives with his wife.

“Dave is a motivational leader with a wealth of senior management experience,” says Wendy Clifford, Chair of the Nanaimo Airport Commission. “His background makes him uniquely suited to fulfill our vision of being ‘Your Island Gateway to the World’.”

“I am looking forward to working with the Board and the staff to provide a safe, efficient and expanded airport service to our customers,” Devana says. “I also see a great opportunity to apply my skills to partner with local governments, First Nations, non-governmental organizations and business to expand the economic impact of the airport. I am eager to get started working with our partners to enhance our communities.”

Devana spent seven years as CAO for the District of North Cowichan. He was CAO with the Town of Cochrane in Alberta before coming to Nanaimo Airport. Here he oversees Vancouver Island’s second busiest airport and leads a team of 28 employees.

Devana also served as Director of Finance and Deputy CAO in both Sooke and Yellowknife. His peers in local government regard him as an innovator and leader.

He has a broad skillset. He’s a Certified Professional Accountant (CPA). His background includes:

  • land use
  • environmental stewardship
  • government relations and funding
  • financial management
  • strategic planning
  • human resources
  • labour relations

“He brings land development experience that will assist us in implementing long range commercial development and bring economic and employment opportunities to the region,” adds Commission Vice-Chair Dave Witty.

Former CEO Hooper is retiring after 14 years at the helm.

Front-line workers are “unsung heroes,” says Nanaimo Airport

By Community

Front-line workers at Nanaimo Airport and across Canada are unsung heroes during the COVID-19 pandemic, says airport CEO and President Mike Hooper.

Hooper also thanks first responders and other emergency personnel. Their work keeps Central Islanders, and all Canadians, healthy and safe.

“They are all doing excellent work. It benefits everyone, from providing us critical health care to ensuring we can buy food,” he says. “They’re providing the essential services we need. They’re keeping our communities running during these challenging times. On behalf of the Nanaimo Airport, I want to publicly acknowledge and thank them.”

“Their dedication is an inspiration,” he adds. “We owe them and their families our thanks for all they do on our behalf.”

Staff at Nanaimo Airport and our business partners ensure essential travel and shipping continues. Our team includes everyone from baggage handlers to customer service representatives. Maintenance crews and the Blue Navigator volunteers also make important contributions.

Business partners have a variety of front-line workers on duty. They staff the security area for baggage and customer screening. They keep airline flight counters open. They run the flight services centre that monitors air traffic. Other services include fuel and cargo.

Nanaimo Airport Commission has added precautions to reduce the COVID-19 risk. The steps help keep our workplace safe for employees, partners and contractors.

Our janitorial staff is disinfecting common use surfaces throughout the Air Terminal Building. This includes bathrooms, the departure lounge and luggage carts. We have also installed more hand sanitizer dispensers.

We have monitored the coronavirus outbreak since it was first reported in early January. “Safety has always been our priority throughout our operations,” says Hooper.

“Our front-line workers are doing a tremendous job. We’re very proud of the service they’ve provided as our business copes with the impact of the pandemic.”

Nanaimo Airport building on foundation for tomorrow

By Economic Impact

Nanaimo Airport’s (YCD) expanded Air Terminal Building is the latest piece of the airport’s foundation for tomorrow.

The terminal is one of the pillars of Nanaimo Airport Commission’s five-year Strategic Plan, which charts the flight path for the next generation of air service in Central Vancouver Island. The plan guides decision-making at one of B.C.’s fastest growing regional airports. It, in essence, builds YCD’s future.

Infrastructure such as the terminal building plays a major role in the vision for today and tomorrow. Construction of the $14.2-million terminal expansion provides immediate benefits, giving passengers more room and comfort while helping them to move through the airport more efficiently.

The new building also ushers in the future, thanks to the Commission’s 20-year plan for terminal expansion. The plan uses an innovative modular design. Each stage is designed to connect seamlessly to the one before and after it.

In the years ahead, infrastructure improvements create potential for a sizeable return on investment. The enlarged terminal building, coupled with enhancements to runway aprons, makes Nanaimo Airport even more attractive to airlines. And that could lead to new routes based here. There’s plenty of room and other amenities necessary to accommodate the large jets that fly to sun destinations such as Hawaii and Mexico.

Investment has also created additional airport parking to meet demand. Passengers now have 1,200 stalls to choose from.

Another pillar that supports the airport’s operations today and in the future is a Climate Change Action Plan. Work began last year to assess and plan for the impact of climate change, to ensure the airport’s sustainability for generations.

Sustainability is also the driving factor in the airport’s land use planning – another piece of the foundation for tomorrow. Land development on vacant areas will provide economic benefit to the community while diversifying the airport’s revenue stream.

As all the foundation pieces are put in place, safety remains the airport’s priority. One of the latest initiatives was the purchase of a second Air Rescue and Fire Fighting vehicle, increasing the capacity for emergency response.

For information on Nanaimo Airport’s COVID-19 response visit

Expansion, bus service, and a record year at Nanaimo Airport

By Airport Improvements

Fresh off another record-setting year, Nanaimo Airport (YCD) opens 2020 with even more milestones.

A multi-million-dollar Air Terminal Building expansion has been completed. It came in ahead of schedule and under budget. The expansion adds 14,000 square feet for passenger convenience. It’s needed to meet increased demand.

It also provides a larger security area that will be able to serve 1,000 people per hour in the future. Our passengers can move through security screening and the baggage check far faster. Before the expansion, fewer than 200 people per hour could move through the line. Screening is the responsibility of the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority.

A ribbon cutting ceremony later this month will officially open the expanded terminal building space.

Travellers also benefit from BC Transit’s new airport bus service. It connects us and the Cassidy community to downtown Nanaimo. Launched in January, the service provides five buses per day from early morning to early evening. Travellers now have even more transportation options to and from the Central Island’s airport of choice.

The service enhancements all fit into our plan for continuous improvement. The plan helps us keep up with record demand that is far ahead of projections.

Some 490,000 people moved through our gates in 2019. It was the 11th record-breaking year in a row as YCD continues to be one of B.C.’s fastest growing airports of its size. A seasonal flight to Toronto and additional connecting flights to travel hubs in Vancouver and Calgary helped pushed passenger numbers to the new high.

Nanaimo is now Vancouver Island’s second busiest airport. Passenger volume is about a decade ahead of forecasts. And airport CEO and President Mike Hooper expects the trend to continue.

“We have a fabulous foundation for growth of passenger service, aerospace development, cargo development and ground side developments,” he says.

Nanaimo Airport provides 2,700 direct and indirect jobs that support Central Island families. We’re a major economic driver for the region too. We generated an estimated $486 million in economic impact in 2019.

Nanaimo Airport takes stress out of winter travel

By Advisory

Making winter travel plans? Nanaimo Airport can connect you to global destinations without the lineups and general congestion you’ll find at larger airports. And you don’t need to take a ferry, or stay in a hotel, to catch a flight close to home.

The airport’s amenities reduce the stress of travel during one of the busiest seasons of the year. Parking lots have expanded so finding a reasonably-priced spot for vehicles is easier. The enlarged security screening area means passengers can check their baggage in less time.

A major expansion of the Air Terminal Building is adding more charging stations for devices. And vending machines in the passenger lounge offer a selection of snacks and drinks to grab before boarding.

Travellers can also count on the friendly team of Blue Navigators for assistance in the terminal. The volunteer ambassadors, wearing bright blue vests, can answer questions and provide information to help get you on your way.

Here are some tips from Nanaimo Airport’s Customer Care team to help your trip go smoothly:

  1. Pack your carry-on by the rules

Use the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority website if you’re not sure what you’re allowed to carry on to the plane.

  1. Check your flight and paperwork before leaving home

Do you have the necessary paperwork for air travel?  Have you checked the federal government’s Travel Advice and Advisories page? And don’t forget to visit your airline’s website and for up-to-the-minute flight information.

  1. Arrive early

Plan to be at the airport at least 90 minutes before your flight. That’ll give you time to breathe rather than rush.

  1. Check your bags right away

Head for security screening as soon as you have checked in with your airline. The Canadian Air Transport Security Authority handles screening. Once you’re clear, you can kick back in the expanded departure lounge and enjoy TV, a play area for kids, and food and beverage machines in comfort.