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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.

Air shipping plugs businesses, residents into global economy

By Business Travel

What do many shoppers and businesses in Central Vancouver Island have in common?

They depend on Nanaimo Airport.

It’s one of the Island’s busiest shipping hubs. Millions of dollars worth of products — from auto parts to electronics to Christmas gifts — are air freighted through the airport annually. Its cargo bays support everything from online shopping to business supply chains.

Five couriers ship through the airport: Dynamex, FedEx, Loomis, Purolator and UPS. And business is booming. FedEx and UPS have both opened local offices to deal with the growing demand.

The products they transport touch many aspects of central Island life.

Shoppers in local stores can browse merchandise flown in from around the globe. Online shoppers can count on fast delivery of their orders. And business owners can fly in the supplies they need, as well as send their products anywhere in the world. For many small and mid-sized companies in the area, it means they can afford to participate in international trade.

Air cargo, in fact, is a trade facilitator that plugs Central Islanders into the global economy. It creates local jobs. It also helps businesses here improve the efficiency of their supply chains. Many firms, for example, use air transport to shorten delivery times and reduce costs. For time-sensitive shipments, air freight is their main option.

Businesses and shoppers rely on Nanaimo Airport for shipping for others reasons too.

First, the airport’s 98 percent reliability rating means flights take off and land as planned despite uncertain weather conditions. That dependability frees shippers to concentrate on prompt delivery of their goods.

And second, users can count on safety of their goods, thanks to the airport’s tight security controls.