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Direct flights to Toronto return this summer

By Advisory

Leisure and business travellers will again be able to fly non-stop to Toronto this summer.

The Air Canada Rouge seasonal flights will resume on June 29, connecting Nanaimo Airport to Toronto Pearson International Airport. They will boost Vancouver Island’s vital tourism sector and make it easier for Islanders to visit and host family and friends from Eastern Canada and the rest of the world. The flights also serve the region’s business community.

Three flights per week are planned, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. They’ll run throughout the summer.

“Air Canada is a valued partner that supports out commitment to being the Central Island’s gateway to the world and an economic catalyst for the region,” says Dave Devana, President and CEO of Nanaimo Airport Commission.

“Air Canada sees the value in continuing to invest in this route, which has been on our schedule for several years now. The Island is a popular destination and its growing population will create an increasing demand for air travel as people look to safely reconnect with family and friends.”

Air access to Vancouver Island is a critical component for the long-term recovery of the tourism industry in our region. It’s also essential to the economy, creating and supporting jobs and attracting investment.

The direct flights to Toronto, and the connecting flights from there, put domestic destinations, business markets and employment opportunities within easy reach. The non-stop routes takes between 4.5 and five hours.

Travellers will fly aboard an Airbus 319. It’s a member of the Airbus A320 family of short- to medium-range, narrow-body, commercial passenger twin-engine jet airliners.

Even with relaxed travel restrictions, the airport and its airline partners will retain enhanced safety measures to help ensure passenger safety. Travellers are urged to review Transport Canada travel requirements to help prepare for their flights.

More information on COVID protocols, and on-site testing available at Nanaimo Airport, can be found at Follow @FlyYCD for airport updates.

Nanaimo Airport’s tips for returning to travel

By Advisory

Ready to start travelling again? Many Central Islanders are. And they’re continuing to rely on Nanaimo Airport for leisure and business travel. Vaccinations and strict COVID protocols are helping to ensure safe trips.

As we welcome back passengers, we encourage travellers to be prepared and be patient. The travel experience may be a bit different now.

Here are some key reminders to help you get ready to fly:

  • Review entry requirements for every destination on your itinerary, and for your return to Canada if you’re travelling internationally. This could include travel visas or vaccine and testing documents.
  • Ensure you have the right COVID 19 test, if one is required. Make sure you take it within the specified time window.
  • Confirm your travel details a few days before your trip. Contact your airline about your reservations and baggage specifications.
  • Check-in online and download your boarding pass to your phone.
  • Check the rules for carry-on bags. Restrictions still apply for liquids, gels and aerosols. But you can pack one bottle of liquid sanitizer containing up to 355 mL. It doesn’t need to be included in the 1L resealable bag.
  • Arrive at Nanaimo Airport earlier than you did previously, to allow time for extra security and safety screening.
  • Reduce touchpoints by using the Honk mobile app to pay for parking.
  • Remember to bring face masks. They’re mandatory within Nanaimo Airport and on your flight.
  • Use hand sanitizer. For your convenience, we’ve placed additional sanitizing stations throughout the terminal.

To further help keep you safe, we’ve increased the cleaning and disinfecting of common touch points such as luggage carts, gate counters, and bathrooms. And our new departure lounge provides lots of room for social distancing while you wait for your flight.

If you’re driving an electric vehicle to the airport, you can use any of our four conveniently located charging stations. They’re in the main and north parking lots. They’re free through the end of the year.

Safety remains priority as direct flights to Toronto resume

By Advisory

As Canadian vaccination programs make significant progress, direct flights to Toronto have resumed on a limited basis at the Nanaimo Airport. Enhanced safety measures at the airport and on planes help ensure passenger safety.

The Air Canada Rouge flights are part of a measured reopening of the economy. They boost Vancouver Island’s vital tourism sector. Islanders can more easily visit and host family and friends from Eastern Canada and the Toronto Pearson International Airport.

The non-stop flights started after B.C.’s July 1 reopening date for domestic travel within Canada. One flight a week was initially scheduled. More flights may be added in August depending on the reopening plans and success of the vaccination programs in Canada.

Travellers fly aboard an Airbus 220, a narrow-body plane designed by Bombardier in Canada. It’s one of the most efficient and quietest planes in its class. It’s also the first Airbus 220 flight ever at the Nanaimo Airport. It accommodates up to 136 passengers.

“Air Canada is a valued partner that supported Nanaimo Airport during the pandemic. They continue to support us during reopening,” says Dave Devana, President and CEO of Nanaimo Airport Commission. “We share a commitment to safety. Our comprehensive plans ensure passengers can travel safely while reconnecting with family and friends.”

This flight signals the restart of air travel and the domestic tourism sector on Vancouver Island. Nanaimo Airport will resume its role as the central Island’s gateway. Connecting flights put domestic destinations, business markets and employment opportunities within easy reach.

“It also shows that Air Canada has a vested interest in Nanaimo Airport by putting this route, and specifically this new aircraft, on our schedule as we prudently look to reopen our economy,” says Devana.

Passengers are being welcomed at the airport’s award-winning terminal building. The terminal expansion project won the Community Institutional Award of Excellence in the 2021 Vancouver Island Real Estate Board Commercial Building Awards. The terminal earlier won an Illuminating Engineering Society award for interior lighting design.

Safety programs provide peace of mind for air travel

By Advisory, Uncategorized

If you’re unsure about air travel this winter, enhanced safety protocols can give you some peace of mind.

Nanaimo Airport (YCD) and its airline partners Air Canada and WestJet have taken comprehensive steps to reduce the coronavirus risk. And new trial programs being conducted in Vancouver and Calgary airports may lead to replacing the 14-day quarantine requirement for domestic and international flights. In Vancouver, for example, passengers could get virus test results in as little as 15 minutes.

“The risk of catching an infection on an aircraft is typically lower than in a shopping centre or office environment,” says the International Air Transport Association, the aviation industry’s global trade organization. And the International Civil Aviation Organization, a United Nations agency, rates the likelihood of contracting the virus while on flights as “extremely low.”

Nanaimo Airport’s layered approach to airport safety includes a touchless parking app and self baggage tagging at check in (coming soon), mandatory masks and physical distancing. The measures are in addition to enhanced cleaning and sanitization protocols that help protect the entire airport community, from travellers to YCD staff to employees of businesses based at YCD.

Once aboard planes, passengers benefit from even more safety protocols implemented by Air Canada and WestJet. The steps range from using hospital-grade disinfectant while defogging planes to screening travellers with temperature checks before boarding.

Powerful HEPA filters in the planes have a bacteria and virus removal efficiency rate of more than 99 per cent. “Very few travelers know that the HEPA filters circulate new air into the cabin 20 to 30 times per hour, and the circulation is primarily top down so any contaminants are removed from the cabin through the floor,” explains Dave Devana, President and CEO of Nanaimo Airport.

YCD connects travellers to airline hubs in Vancouver and Calgary. Both airports are conducting Rapid Testing Programs that could reduce or eliminate the need for passengers to quarantine.

Devana says Nanaimo Airport and its partners continue to make passenger safety the priority. “When our customers are ready to travel we will provide a safety-first environment.”

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.

Nanaimo Airport, airlines keeping travellers safe

By Advisory

Keeping it safe to fly remains Nanaimo Airport’s top priority.

The airport has taken numerous additional precautions to reduce the COVID-19 risk for all airport users, from passengers to workers to family and friends picking up or dropping off loved ones. The airlines serving the central Island also have implemented strict measures to make flying as safe as possible.

Nanaimo Airport’s safety-first environment

“Please know that when our customers are ready to travel we will provide a safety-first environment,” says Nanaimo Airport Commission President and CEO Dave Devana.

The Commission’s already-high safety standards in the Air Terminal Building have been further enhanced. Protective measures include:

  • Additional disinfecting of common use surfaces including bathrooms, counters, vending machines, departure lounge seating, water filling stations and luggage carts.
  • Plexiglas shields at all counters and boarding gates
  • All employees wear masks in the terminal building
  • Encouraging limited terminal access by asking non-passengers to remain outside if possible. If passenger assistance is required, please send only one person into the terminal.
  • Additional hand sanitizer dispensers

Get safety information and share your opinion

You can get more information on how Nanaimo Airport keeps its facilities safe and hygienic at

Central Islanders can also share their opinions on making air travel even safer. Nanaimo Airport has launched a brief online survey, titled “Attitudes about Air Travel,” at It takes only minutes to complete.

How airlines are protecting you

WestJet and Air Canada are doing everything they can to reduce the COVID-19 risk for travellers at Nanaimo Airport.

They’ve implemented strict plane cleaning regimens before and after each flight. Seating is limited to 60% of capacity to maintain appropriate distancing. All passengers take a temperature check and complete a Transport Canada health check questionnaire before boarding.

Air travelers are required to have a non-medicinal mask or face covering while in the airport and in-flight. Passengers will be asked whether they have a mask or face covering at check-in.

For more information, visit your airline’s website:

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.



Airport reliability takes worry out of travel plans

By Advisory, Airport Improvements, Business Travel, Home Page Announcements

Airport reliability takes worry out of travel plans

Nanaimo Airport Reliability Graph

There aren’t many certainties in life but here’s one you can pretty much count on: a flight out of Nanaimo Airport.

The airport posted a 99.6% weather reliability rating last year – nearly all planned flights took off or landed despite some severe weather conditions. That impressive performance was achieved with more than 550 scheduled flights using the airport each month.

The sterling weather reliability rating allows central Island travellers to rely on the airport as their year-round gateway to the world. Of course, Mother Nature sometimes has other plans. Extreme weather can impact flights at any airport, and seaplanes too. Other travel modes for Islanders are similarly at the mercy of weather. Last month, for example, BC Ferries cancelled several sailings due to high winds. Flights continued as scheduled during those times at Nanaimo Airport.

So what accounts for the airport’s near-perfect reliability rating?

Much of the credit goes to an Instrument Landing System (ILS) installed in 2010. The high-tech navigation aid helps pilots land and take off safely even with limited visibility. Before ILS was implemented, as many as 90 flights a year were cancelled due to weather.

Other infrastructure improvements made by the Nanaimo Airport Commission have also boosted flight reliability by extending the runway and additional lighting. (Approach lights are the most important for pilots when landing.)

Since airlines — not the airport — decide when to cancel flights, it’s always best to check with your air carrier for up-to-date information. Also visit for a  live flight status updates for arrivals and departures.