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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 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.

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.

Airport initiating a climate change action plan

By Economic Impact, Uncategorized

Nanaimo Airport is taking a leadership role in addressing climate change.

As part of its commitment to environmental stewardship, the airport has begun work on a climate change action plan. It’s one of only a few B.C. airports to take the step. A select number of the country’s much larger airports including Vancouver and Toronto, have their own plans.

Nanaimo Airport Commission has initiated a plan because it is the right thing to do as a good corporate citizen. It’s also necessary to ensure sustainable operations. Climate change has the potential to impact everything from air traffic control to the terminal, cargo, fire service and even road access. Possible hazards include flooding, heat damage to infrastructure and buildings, increased risk of fire and wind damage and  impacts on airport users and suppliers.

The commission has a working group and engaged a consultant with specific expertise to steer the plan’s development.

Getting the initial data is a big job requiring an extensive inventory that tracks emissions. The inventory could include everything from the source of emissions, such as vehicles and equipment, to the quantity emitted. Other sources to be considered could include buildings and facilities, energy generation, and waste management.

Once the data is available, the working group would create a strategy to find ways to reduce the emissions. The use of technology and efficiency improvements, in collaboration with airport partners, is among the options.

The plan could also include a resilience response to deal with a host of factors that could arise while addressing climate change at the airport. These factors include regulatory changes, financial and insurance issues, physical design changes, and specific airport plans and policies.

Nanaimo Airport Commission is following a coordinated strategy to develop the plan. It starts with deciding the scope of the project and continues with an organizational plan for an action team, including resources and a work plan.

 

Nanaimo Airport takes its focus on Safety to new level

By Uncategorized

Nanaimo Airport has always made safety and security its priority. As a result, it’s become known for its safety-driven culture.
And now the airport is taking it a step further as part of its philosophy of continuous improvement. Nanaimo Airport Commission (NAC) is expanding its risk management program to cover all of its operations.

“We’re developing an enterprise risk-management (ERM) system that incorporates all components of our business,” explains airport president and CEO Mike Hooper. “We want to ensure that we have everything in place to continue our success.”

The new program looks at everything from financial implications of airport decisions to the consequences of an earthquake to staffing and future capital investments.

The new program already has a solid base. The commission has safety, security and business risk systems in place. And an independent review rated the commission’s culture and risk leadership above average. The report compared Nanaimo with other airports of similar sizes and complexity.

“The Board is in full support of addressing risk-related issues and wishes to ensure that all types of risk are addressed to support the achievement of NAC’s strategic goals and objectives,” says the report by MNP LLP.

“The existing culture of training, hazard awareness and procedures represents a solid foundation for NAC to evolve into a more holistic approach to risk management,” the report adds.

Building on that foundation, the ERM system will help reduce exposure to risks. It will also make better use of opportunities for growth, and overall will allow the airport to be more successful.

“We’ve got a number of systems and we’re bringing them together,” Hooper says. “Our customers probably won’t notice much change. But behind the scenes we will be making improvements that will ensure Nanaimo Airport’s ongoing viability as a major transportation hub for Vancouver Island.”

The improvements will be based on leading practices in risk management.

Airport raises region’s profile with national audiences

By Community, Uncategorized

Nanaimo Airport (YCD) gives Central Vancouver Island a two-way connection with the rest of the world.

The region’s global gateway allows residents to travel to thousands of destinations. And it often brings national attention to the Island. The spotlight raises our profile and benefits tourism, business, education and other sectors.

This summer, for example, the airport played a supporting role on an episode of The Amazing Race Canada. It’s the country’s most-watched summer TV series. Viewers watched contestants race through a series of challenges in the Central Island before heading to the airport.

YCD served as the backdrop for one of the most intense moments of the show’s season. The teams got into a heated discussion about their gamesmanship. When things cooled off, the racers boarded a plane to head to their next adventure, in Saskatoon. A graphic then showed the national audience how Nanaimo Airport connects the Island to the rest of the country.

The airport also played a role in another recent event that focused media attention on Nanaimo. The Canadian Forces Snowbirds 431 Air Demonstration Squadron performed high above the city’s downtown harbour. The pilots enthralled thousands of local residents as well as an online audience.

The famed pilots have made several appearances here. Nanaimo Airport provides an opportunity for them to meet with their fans. Last year, the Snowbirds came to Nanaimo Airport as Ambassadors of the C.H.I.L.D Foundation. The charity supports children with liver diseases. The aces spent time with C.H.I.L.D kids and gave them tours of their jets on the airport taxiway.

YCD has played a role in other high-profile events too. They all showcased Central Vancouver Island on the national and international stages.

In 2018, the BC Summer Games in the Cowichan Valley used the airport as its main gathering point. Hundreds of athletes flew in from around the province. And big-name performers have landed at YCD on their way to the stage at SunFest, Laketown Shakedown and other major Island music festivals.

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.”