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Nanaimo Airport

Communication with our neighbours guides Nanaimo Airport

By | Community

Getting information about Nanaimo Airport (YCD), and offering your feedback, has never been easier.

The airport values communication with the communities and people it serves. Its part of our commitment to being a good corporate citizen and neighbour. That communication, in fact, is one of YCD’s guiding principles. And building partnerships and encouraging contributions is one of our strategic goals.

Staying in touch, and welcoming input, is part of the airport’s role as a regional economic driver and helps support its long-range planning.

Sharing information is done in many ways. Nanaimoairport.com puts everything from flight status to expansion updates just an online click away. The website also hosts an archive of the Airport blog. We are happy to respond to your inquiries and feedback through the Contact Us page. You can follow YCD on social media through its official Facebook account as well as @FlyYCD on Twitter. You are welcome to share your images and video on our Instagram page @FlyYCD. There’s also a monthly column in Take 5.

Public interaction is emphasized at the many presentations around the Central Island made by airport representatives.

In June, for example, the airport sponsored a Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce luncheon. A full house heard from Air Canada Senior Vice-President Ferio Pugliese, who offered some promising insights for regional travellers. Pugliese called Nanaimo the “perfect” market for the airline’s new Airbus A220 when it goes into service. The audience also heard from Dave Witty, Vice Chair of the Nanaimo Airport Commission.

Throughout the year, airport officials make presentations to local governments in Nanaimo, the Regional District of Nanaimo, Ladysmith and the Cowichan Valley Regional District. YCD also partners with a variety of stakeholders, including local Chambers of Commerce, First Nations communities and Vancouver Island University.

Community input helps shape decisions at the airport, which is the second busiest on Vancouver Island. Last year, for example, YCD brought together stakeholders for a major charette that helped chart proposed land development. The results of the charette, and the airport’s subsequent land development plan, were then shared at public information sessions around the region.

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.

Nanaimo Airport customer survey offers $2,500 prize

By | Uncategorized

Sharing your thoughts about Nanaimo Airport (YCD) could win you a $2,500 travel prize – just in time for the busy summer vacation season.

The Airport is conducting a customer survey as it seeks to provide even more travel options for Central Vancouver Islanders. B.C. residents who fill out the online survey can then enter a contest to win a $1,500 air travel voucher plus $1,000 in spending money. Deadline for entry is July 31, 2019.

The survey asks about your flying habits, use of Nanaimo Airport, destinations you have recently flown to, and destinations you’d like to be able to fly to in the future.

The air travel voucher prize can be used for Air Canada or WestJet flights out of Nanaimo Airport. Travellers can fly non-stop to Vancouver and Calgary year-round, and seasonally direct to Toronto. From those airport hubs, travellers can then connect to flights to hundreds of other destinations around the world.

Flying local during the busy summer travel season saves residents time and money. You can avoid the long lineups and major expense of ferry travel associated with flying out of Vancouver, which often also requires staying overnight in a hotel.

Using Nanaimo Airport allows you to avoid the congestion in terminals at other airports, where long long lines for boarding and security are common. You can call on the Blue Navigators volunteer ambassadors in the YCD terminal to help make your travelling experience stress-free.

And parking near the terminal is plentiful thanks to Nanaimo Airport’s expanded lots, which offer reasonable rates for short-term and long-term parking.

Whether you’re heading out on vacation or for business, remember to be at the airport at least 90 minutes prior to your scheduled departure. That allows time to check baggage and pick up your boarding pass. You must have checked in, obtained your boarding pass and deposited all checked baggage at the baggage drop-off counter 45 minutes before your flight.

Nanaimo Airport opens expanded terminal this fall

By | Airport Improvements, Uncategorized

Keeping pace with growing demand for air travel, Nanaimo Airport’s Air Terminal Building expansion opens this fall. It’s on budget and ahead of schedule.

As structural steel work wraps up, crews pour new concrete floors and erect interior walls. Passengers will enjoy approximately 60 per cent more space and a modern, airy design when work finishes.

“We need to expand our infrastructure to ensure quality passenger service is maintained as the airport exceeds its historical passenger numbers,” explains Nanaimo Airport President and CEO Mike Hooper.

Nanaimo Airport last year became the second busiest on Vancouver Island. It’s behind only Victoria. It also set a record for passengers for the ninth straight year, moving 435,349 people through its gates. A seasonal Air Canada flight to Toronto resumes this summer after its successful debut in 2018. Air Canada also flies to Vancouver and WestJet offers daily flights to Vancouver and Calgary. That gives travellers direct connections to the country’s major air hubs from Nanaimo.

The airport’s multi-million expansion project began last April. Construction crews are enlarging the security area for faster baggage screening. They’re also doubling the number of seats in the departure lounge for comfort and convenience. The expanded terminal will have approximately 14,000 more sq. ft. It’s currently 23,680 sq. ft.

“We’re a bit ahead of schedule,” Hooper says. “That’s a tribute to all the planning we put into this project, and to the great work done by all the crews on site. We’ve been committed to maintaining the customer service we’re known for, and we appreciate all the patience shown by our users.”

The expansion has injected millions of dollars into the local economy. It helps fulfill Nanaimo Airport’s mandate as a key economic driver of regional growth.

Project manager Durwest Construction Management oversees numerous local contractors and suppliers. They include Checkwitch Poiron Architects, McCallan Construction Survey, Graf Excavating, Island Overhead Doors, Flynn Canada, Archie Johnstone Plumbing, Houle Electric, Holdfast Metalworks, Vescon Construction, G&G Roofing, Westwood Metals, Allmar International and Sloan Painting.

Blue Navigators offer friendly smiles, aid at busy Nanaimo Airport

By | Uncategorized

Many things are changing at Nanaimo Airport due to a major terminal building expansion. But one thing remains constant: a commitment to customer service.

The airport’s customer service team works relentlessly to make the travel experience as comfortable as possible. Thanks to them, construction has created minimal disruption even during a period of record passenger volume.

The Blue Navigators volunteers are a big part of Nanaimo Airport’s customer service. Known for their blue vests, they provide help and hospitality to airport users in the terminal. And they’ve gone out of their way to create a friendly atmosphere for travellers during the expansion work.

“We really appreciate the efforts of the Blue Navigators,” says airport President and CEO Mike Hooper. “It’s challenging to run a busy airport while undergoing major construction and they’ve made sure our customers are always taken care of.”

The ambassadors assist with information or travel-related needs. They provide special assistance for travellers with disabilities and mobility impairments. They answer questions about everything from parking to finding lost credit cards. And they serve as tourism ambassadors. They share information about Vancouver Island and maintain the airport’s travel information centre.

“Our Blue Navigators volunteers help take the stress out of travel. Their warm, friendly greetings are a great way to begin or end a trip,” says Laurie Hawthornthwaite, Nanaimo Airport Customer Service Coordinator.

Last year, 38 volunteers gave 5,450 hours of their time. Since the program began in June 2012, volunteers have been on duty for a remarkable 28,000 hours.

More volunteers with customer service experience are welcome to join the team. It’s an ideal role for retirees or high school and university students interested in volunteering in their community. To learn more about becoming a Blue Navigator, please contact Laurie Hawthornthwaite at 250-924-2157 Ext 268.

Nanaimo Airport now Island’s second busiest airport

By | Economic Impact, Uncategorized

After a record-setting year, Nanaimo Airport (YCD) now stands as Vancouver Island’s second busiest airport.

2018 saw 435,349 travellers on 800+ commercial flights pass through Nanaimo Airport gates. It’s the highest total in YCD history and the ninth straight year the airport has set a record. With Air Canada Rouge resuming its seasonal non-stop service to Toronto this summer, and WestJet offering daily flights to Vancouver and Calgary, Airport President and CEO Mike Hooper expects that streak to continue in 2019.

“We make it so easy and convenient for people to connect to Canadian and international destinations, and without the headache, hassles and expense of travelling to major airports like Vancouver or Victoria,” he says.

The airport is in the midst of a $15-million Air Terminal Building expansion. It includes an enlarged departure lounge and expanded security screening area, making the airport experience faster and more comfortable for people. Work is expected to be complete by fall 2019.

“The Nanaimo Airport team here has done an incredible amount of work to plan for and manage our rapid growth,” Hooper says. “We’re investing in our infrastructure and we’re implementing a 20-year master plan for developing our available land. That’s creating new opportunities for businesses and investors. We’re also making sure airlines know about the fantastic opportunity here to launch new routes and expand their existing service.”

The airport is also at the centre of the new Vancouver Island Foreign Trade Zone, which will help attract businesses that import and export goods.

Nanaimo Airport is a major economic driver for the region. It generated more than $ 370 million in economic activity for the region in 2018, and more than 2,000 jobs that support Central Island families. “Our operations create benefits for all of the communities we serve,” says Hooper. “All of our success is due to our dedicated team and to the strong partnerships we have built.”

An historic year: Toronto flight, record traffic, expansion

By | Airport Improvements

2018 was another record-breaking year for Nanaimo Airport.

More than 435,000 travellers went through our gates. Ground was broken on a $15-million expansion of our Air Terminal Building. A seasonal direct flight to Toronto launched (and will resume later this spring). And we completed a master land development plan that will guide our growth for the next 20 years.

Here’s a quick review of these and other highlights from 2018:

  • Direct Nanaimo-Toronto flight takes off

Business and leisure travellers jumped at the opportunity to travel across the country in mere hours thanks to Air Canada’s non-stop seasonal service. And they can do it again this year as the flight to Toronto returns later this spring.

  • Passenger traffic soars

For the 10th consecutive year we smashed the previous record for the number of travellers. We’re proud to be Central Vancouver Island’s airport of choice.

  • Air Terminal Building expands

To accommodate the record-breaking traffic, we’re adding an extra 14,000 square feet to the terminal. Construction began in the spring and has progressed on time and on budget. Passengers will enjoy more room, comfort and convenience when the work wraps up in the fall of 2019.

  • Land development plan shapes future

Nanaimo Airport Commission created a 20-year master plan for our available land. It was produced after consulting with the communities we serve. The consultations culminated in a charette (planning forum) with our stakeholders to map out potential development strategies.

  • Infrastructure investments pay off

Improvements to the apron for aircraft along the runway, and to our parking areas, helped prepare us for continued growth.

  • Airport fuels jobs, economy

Our operations generated $358 million in economic activity for the region, and more than 2,000 jobs that support Central Island families. Our role as an economic driver will be enhanced by the inclusion of the airport in the new Vancouver Island foreign trade zone, which will help businesses import and export goods.

  • Community partnerships thrive

We happily supported many community projects, ranging from the B.C. Summer Games in the CVRD to the Nanaimo visit by the world-famous Snowbirds to the Festival of Lights in Ladysmith.

5 tips to simplify your winter travel

By | Simplify Your Travel, Travel Tips

Chasing the sun this winter? Planning ahead can ensure your flight gives you a vacation from stress as well as from local weather, says Nanaimo Airport’s Customer Care team.

The airport offers a convenient starting point for central Islanders looking to avoid congestion at larger airports, where lineups are long during the busiest travel time of the year. The central Island’s airport of choice offers hundreds of connecting flights through Air Canada and WestJet. And you don’t need an expensive ferry ride/hotel stay to take one.

To help your travel go smoothly, the Customer Care team offers the following tips:

    1. Arrive early
      Get to Nanaimo Airport at least 90 minutes before your flight. If you’re driving yourself, allow a few more minutes to park.
    2. Go through security as soon as you can
      More people travelling means more people – and baggage – going through security screening. Fortunately, the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA), which is responsible for screening, upgraded its system earlier this year to handle more volume. Even with the extra capacity, it’s a good idea to go through security early. You can then relax in the expanded departure lounge. There you’ll find TVs, a play area for kids, and food and beverage machines.
    3. Know what you can bring on board
      Not sure about the rules for liquids and gels? (Hint: If they’re smaller than 100ml, they can go in your carry-on.) CATSA provides a handy search tool for determining what you can bring on a flight at www.catsa-acsta.gc.ca/en/whatcanIbring.
    4. Check your flight and paperwork
      Before you leave for the airport, be sure to visit your airline’s website for up-to-the-minute flight information. And make sure you have the necessary paperwork for air travel.
    5. Ask for help
      Nanaimo Airport’s Customer Care team and volunteer Blue Navigators (in the bright blue vests) are on duty in the air terminal building to answer your questions.

 

Customer service team at Nanaimo Airport eases travel stress

By | Uncategorized

The friendly customer service team at Nanaimo Airport devotes each day to one goal: making the travel experience comfortable.

It’s a big job. Hundreds of thousands of passengers go through the airport gates every year. And that means thousands of requests for assistance, from parking and airport information to tourism suggestions to finding lost credit cards. This year has been especially busy, as the team works diligently to fulfill the airport’s commitment to customer service during expansion-related construction.

“Our goal is to provide a positive, stress-free experience for passengers and visitors in a safe, secure and friendly environment,” explains Customer Care Advisor Laurie Hawthornthwaite.

She oversees a team of three customer service representatives: Tiffany Braun, Char Blois and Mike Anderson. She also supervises 37 Blue Navigator Ambassadors, the blue-vested volunteers who have provided almost 25,000 hours of service since June 2012.

The team is onsite 4:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. seven days a week. It’s rewarding work, they say. “I love when I can help take some of the stress out of travel,” says Braun.

And team members have many happy stories to share.

“My favourite time,” recalls Blue Navigators volunteer Tricia Barnes, “was when I realized that a lady with a fair amount of luggage was chatting amiably with a few folks and had not realized that her plane was within minutes of taking off! I rushed over and assisted her. She was escorted very quickly through Security and on to her plane on route to Europe.”

Passenger feedback attests to the friendly service people receive at Nanaimo Airport.

“Just wanted to let you know how much we enjoyed visiting with the Blue Navigators volunteer,” one airport user wrote. “He made us feel welcome and visited like he was an old friend. My daughter was particularly taken with his incredible sense of humour. Thanks for all you do to make vacations special — even the airport experience.”

Expanded airport terminal taking shape, right on schedule

By | Airport Improvements

The future at Nanaimo Airport is becoming clearer by the day, thanks to progress on a $15-million Air Terminal Building expansion.

Construction activity that began this spring is already transforming the site. With foundation work completed, structural steel will now be erected. By Christmas, airport users will be able to see the outlines of the expansion, which will enlarge the security area for faster baggage screening and double the number of seats in the departure lounge for comfort and convenience.

“We’re very happy to be on schedule,” says Nanaimo Airport CEO Mike Hooper. “This is one of the largest construction projects in the region and despite normal logistical challenges it is going quite smoothly.”

He credits months of planning and careful project management for minimizing the impact of the expansion on airport operations. “We’ve made customer service a priority,” Hooper says. “We’re doing everything we can to ensure the airport experience meets expectations, and we appreciate the support and patience we’ve received from our customers.”

Once the steel work is done, crews will focus on exterior work for the building: cladding, glass and roofing. Completion is anticipated by January 2020. The expanded terminal will have approximately 14,000 more sq. ft. It’s currently 23,680 sq. ft.

The federal and provincial governments each invested $2.48 million in the project from the New Building Canada Fund – Small Communities Fund Program. The B.C. Airport Assistance Program invested $150,000 and Nanaimo Airport Commission covers the remainder

“This is another example of how Nanaimo Airport helps drive the Central Island economy,” Hooper says. “We’re bringing millions of dollars into the region and creating jobs that support local families.”

Island-based project manager Durwest Construction Management oversees many local trades contractors and suppliers. Nanaimo’s Checkwitch Poiron Architects, for example, is on the design team. And local firms McCallan Construction Survey, Graf Excavating, Island Overhead Doors, Flynn Canada, Archie Johnstone Plumbing, Houle Electric, Holdfast Metalworks, and Vescon Construction have all been contracted.

By 2021 the airport is forecast to generate $358 million in annual economic impact for the region and support more than 2,000 direct and indirect jobs.