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Nanaimo Airport Looking to Future

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Vaccination programs are progressing in B.C. and across Canada. As they do, Nanaimo Airport is prepared to welcome passengers back once they are ready to travel in a safety-first environment.

The airport remains cautiously optimistic that travel restrictions will be relaxed this summer and fall. It also remains committed to safety as its top priority. The airport and its airline partners have extensive safety measures in place.

Toronto, Edmonton Flights Planned this Summer

Air Canada and WestJet have proposed summer schedules that include a new route and the return of Toronto seasonal service. Existing routes get additional flights.

Here are the proposed options:

  • Expanded flight options to Vancouver by both airlines
  • Expanded flight options to Calgary by both airlines
  • The resumption of Air Canada Rouge flights weekly between Nanaimo and Toronto’s Pearson Airport. They start on July 3. Flights are planned for Saturdays and Sundays through Sept. 5, 2021. Travellers will fly aboard an Airbus 220. It’s one of the most efficient and low-noise planes in its class. Its new to the Nanaimo route and will be set up with a 136-seat configuration.
  • New flight to Edmonton by WestJet, starting on June 25. Two flights are planned per week, on Fridays and Saturdays.

The expanded schedule upholds Nanaimo Airport’s role as the region’s “gateway to the world.” Travellers will be able to connect to Canada’s major airport hubs using the airport as home base.

Comprehensive Safety Measures

Nanaimo Airport’s safety protocols include a touchless parking app and self baggage tagging at check-in. These are in addition to mandatory masks, physical distancing, and enhanced cleaning and sanitization.

Air Canada and WestJet safety measures include defogging planes with hospital-grade disinfectant and screening passengers before boarding. Airplane HEPA filters can remove more than 99 per cent of bacteria and viruses. They circulate new air into the cabin 20 to 30 times per hour.

“We’re ready to welcome passengers back once they feel safe to travel again,” says Dave Devana, President and CEO of Nanaimo Airport.

Nanaimo Airport’s green investments making a difference

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Nanaimo Airport Commission’s leadership role in environmental management continues to benefit Central Island communities.

The airport’s electronic vehicle charging stations have prevented 57,888 kg of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in their first year of operation. That’s the equivalent of planting 1,484 trees and letting them grow for 10 years. It’s also the equivalent of preventing the GHG emitted by nearly eight residential homes in the region.

The four charging stations were opened to the public in January 2021. The airport provided free use of the stations as part of its ongoing commitment and investment in sustainable development.

The airport is striving to become carbon neutral in its operations. Over the last decade its many progressive programs have addressed climate change, environmental impacts, ecosystem preservation, groundwater protection, and other issues.

A few of the many measures include:

  • Greening some of its fleet of vehicles by investing in zero-emission utility task vehicles and a hybrid van.
  • Partnering with Pollinators Canada to adapt the physical environment to encourage and attract pollinating insects.
  • Removing non-native vegetation and replacing them with local and native species. This helps ensure continued carbon removal while eliminating a threat to the local eco-system.
  • Converting lighting in the Airport Operations Centre to low-energy LED.
  • Implementing eco-friendly policies covering everything from drinking water, to vegetation, to wildlife management.

Even more benefits are expected as the Commission crafts a progressive environmental management system with comprehensive sustainability plan. The project will help manage the implications of climate change. It will also be used to seek carbon accreditation by Airports Council International, the trade association of the world’s airports.

The Commission is working on the plan with environmental scientists including engineers, a hydro geologist and an eco-system health consultant. All of the firms are based in the Central Island.

The leadership team at the airport is committed to sustainable development and to creating a high performance airport. Both are essential to the region’s economic growth today and into the future.

Visit NanaimoAirport.com and follow @FlyYCD.

Airport is one of our community’s biggest supporters

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Nanaimo Airport (YCD) is all about community. It’s one of the airport’s key values and central to all operations. In fact, “our focus on community is the airport’s future,” says Nanaimo Airport Commission’s strategic plan.

Living up to its commitment, the airport continues to embrace community service. Here are a few recent examples:

  • Supporting a holiday food drive

The YCD Security Screening Officer Team’s (Allied Universal) annual drive collected 255 pounds of food for Nanaimo Loaves and Fishes. That’s up from the 177 pounds collected in 2020.

  • Supporting the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Lanyard Scheme

The program assists people with disabilities that are not immediately obvious. These include chronic pain, mental health conditions, mobility or speech impairments, and speech, sight and hearing loss.

People living with these hidden disabilities often face barriers in their lives. Some wear the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower to discreetly identify that they may need assistance. Nanaimo Airport staff and volunteers are there to help.

  • Supporting local talent

Nanaimo Airport hired local artist Kathleen Oliver Stroman to create distinctive Christmas window displays at the Air Terminal Building.

  • Honoring volunteers

The airport saluted its Blue Navigators ambassadors team on International Volunteers Day. One volunteer, Kurt Miller, piloted the inaugural flight of the Dash 7 into the airport in 1983. This Facebook video shares his story.

AIRPORT TEAM ADDS EXPERTISE

Nanaimo Airport values having local people make local decisions to best serve the local community.

Several new faces – all of them central island residents – have joined the airport team recently. Members-at-large Janna Gallick and Mark Taylor are the newest directors on the Nanaimo Airport Commission. They join board chair David Witty, vice-chair Colleen Johel, secretary Alex Stuart and directors Mike Brown and Garth Busch.

Yuko Matsushima is the airport’s new marketing and community engagement coordinator. Christania Chantyman has rejoined the team as accounting and payroll administrator after returning from leave.  And a financial controller will come on board shortly.

Safety programs provide peace of mind for air travel

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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 salutes veterans for their service

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Nanaimo Airport has a long and proud history of supporting Canada’s veterans. Every Remembrance Day it salutes the many who have served and continue to serve Canada during times of conflict and peace.

The airport’s history is intertwined with the country’s air force. It began in 1942 when the Department of National Defence purchased the site in Cassidy from a local family. The government constructed an airstrip and made it war-ready. It became a Royal Canadian Air Force glider pilot training facility. It also was designated a wartime emergency airfield.

Decades later, Nanaimo Airport Commission named the Air Terminal Building in honour of World War 1 flying ace Raymond Collishaw. The air vice marshal was born in Nanaimo on November 22, 1893, the son of a miner and prospector. He went on to become the second-highest scoring ace of the First World War I. Later, he was an important Royal Air Force commander in the North African theatre during the Second World War.

Collishaw’s bravery and leadership earned him numerous medals and commendations. They included the Distinguished Service Cross and the Distinguished Service Order with a bar. He also earned the Distinguished Flying cross. He passed away in 1976.

The terminal building was named after him in October 1999. Permanent exhibits in the building chronicle his heroism.

The Nanaimo Airport also has a strong connection to Canada’s air force via the famed Snowbirds. The airport has hosted the iconic Canadian Forces Snowbirds 431 Air Demonstration Squadron numerous times. They’ve given several aerial performances over Nanaimo.

On Nov. 11 each year, Nanaimo Airport Commission observes a traditional moment of silence at 11 a.m. The Commission encourages residents to honour all veterans of the Canadian Armed Forces, our peacekeepers, the wartime Merchant Navy or Ferry Command, and the RCMP.

More travel helps airport drive economic recovery

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Air travel — a vital component of Central Vancouver’s Island recovery — is rebounding at Nanaimo Airport.

An estimated 20,000 passengers safely flew in and out of the airport in July. The total reflects a pattern of steadily increasing domestic travel that coincided with B.C.’s reopening under the guidance of chief public health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry. In June the airport saw 11,000 passengers. May’s count was 7,600.

More route options, enhanced safety protocols, a return of tourism, and pent-up demand for travel are driving the rebound. Air Canada resumed its direct Nanaimo-Toronto flight in the summer. WestJet added a Nanaimo-Edmonton route. The airlines also increased the number of flights to their hubs in Vancouver and Calgary.

More traffic at the airport means more economic benefit to the region, notes Dave Devana, Nanaimo Airport’s president and chief executive officer. The airport directly and indirectly sustains thousands of jobs that support Central Island families. It’s an essential transportation hub. And it serves as the Island’s gateway to the world’s destinations, markets and job opportunities.

Nanaimo Airport Commission has begun a $28.8-million capital plan that will further drive economic recovery. The plan calls for improvements to the airport over the next five years.

The rebound in passenger volume is in its infancy as the airport strives to return to pre-pandemic levels. July’s passenger count was approximately 50 percent of the July 2019 traffic. After setting a passenger volume record in 2019, the airport saw a 65% decrease in 2020.

The next step in the recovery requires a relaxation of Canadian restrictions on travel to international destinations, especially the U.S. The federal government is launching COVID vaccination certification for international travel.

Nanaimo Airport anticipates air travel will return to pre-pandemic levels sometime in 2023.

Edmonton route expands travel options at Nanaimo Airport

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The Nanaimo Airport and its airline partners continue to drive the Island’s economic recovery. WestJet launched a direct Nanaimo-Edmonton route this summer. And it creates even more travel and business options for residents.

Two non-stop flights per week – Fridays and Sundays – connect the cities. A De Havilland Dash8 Q400 carries up to 78 people for the two-hour trip.

“We value our partnership with WestJet,” says Dave Devana, President and CEO of Nanaimo Airport Commission . “They continue to support the Central Island during reopening of the economy and tourism. Their investment in this route shows again how Nanaimo is an important transportation hub. It also demonstrates how the Nanaimo Airport helps drive recovery for the communities we serve by attracting investment.”

“As we look to the coming months with cautious optimism, we know our restart agenda will be pivotal to Canada’s economic recovery,” says Ed Sims, WestJet President and CEO. “Stimulating air travel benefits all Canadians and supports those hardest hit; with one in every 10 Canadian jobs tied to travel and tourism, the ripple effect benefits our whole country.”

Both the airport and WestJet make safety a priority. The Edmonton route arrived as Canadian vaccination programs made significant progress. It’s also part of a measured reopening of the economy. “Our comprehensive plans help ensure passengers can travel safely. They can reconnect with family, friends and business and employment opportunities,” Devana says.

The route is a huge convenience for Islanders who work in Alberta. It also opens up leisure travel possibilities. WestJet offers global connecting flights from Edmonton International Airport. The airline also offers non-stop service from Nanaimo to Vancouver and Calgary.

“We’ve had a lot of requests for the Edmonton route from our communities,” says Devana. “We listened and have been working with WestJet to provide the service. We appreciate the confidence they’re showing in us. We also appreciate the continuing support from residents that makes us the region’s gateway to the world.”

Airport helps e-commerce boom, eyes cargo expansion

By Economic Impact, Uncategorized

Nanaimo Airport plays an important role in the explosion of ecommerce. It’s a role that ties into the airport’s plan for growth.

Many online orders made by Central Vancouver Island residents and businesses ship through Nanaimo Airport. Air transport is what makes fast delivery to your doorstep possible. It also creates opportunities.

FedEx Canada, one of the airport’s business partners, saw business jump some 45% over last year. E-commerce drove the surge. The company had to reconfigure its space to handle the deluge of residential parcels. FedEx also added another cargo flight here. And it boosted its trucking system to meet demand.

All the work required additional people to handle it. More employees and casual drivers were hired. The airport worked with the company to quadruple the size of its employee parking on site.

Land available for warehousing

Nanaimo Airport Commission plans to capitalize on the boom in commercial shipping. It will expand into air cargo warehousing and distribution services. The move will diversify airport revenues. Current revenue is primarily based on passenger travel. Generating more income from freight will help secure the airport’s stable financial future.

The space needed for warehousing and distribution is already earmarked. The airport’s land development plan makes about 35 acres in the northwest section available. It’s being marketed to developers and investors.

Transportation hub for region

Brining new investment and business to the area is part of the airport’s growth strategy. It plans careful management of its vacant land to create regional benefit.

The City of Nanaimo’s economic development strategy identifies airport development as key. The plan includes the goal of creating a transportation, cargo and logistics hub.

Nanaimo Airport also continues to cooperate with the Regional District of Nanaimo. The RDN is updating its regional growth strategy, Official Community Plan and zoning for a commercial/industrial area. And though the airport operates under federal jurisdiction, it champions our local communities. Nanaimo Airport Commission works with municipal, regional and First Nations governments.

 

Nanaimo Airport Looking to Future

By Uncategorized

Vaccination programs are progressing in B.C. and across Canada. As they do, Nanaimo Airport is prepared to welcome passengers back once they are ready to travel in a safety-first environment.

The airport remains cautiously optimistic that travel restrictions will be relaxed this summer and fall. It also remains committed to safety as its top priority. The airport and its airline partners have extensive safety measures in place.

Toronto, Edmonton Flights Planned this Summer

Air Canada and WestJet have proposed summer schedules that include a new route and the return of Toronto seasonal service. Existing routes get additional flights.

Here are the proposed options:

  • Expanded flight options to Vancouver by both airlines
  • Expanded flight options to Calgary by both airlines
  • The resumption of Air Canada Rouge flights weekly between Nanaimo and Toronto’s Pearson Airport. They start on July 3. Flights are planned for Saturdays and Sundays through Sept. 5, 2021. Travellers will fly aboard an Airbus 220. It’s one of the most efficient and low-noise planes in its class. Its new to the Nanaimo route and will be set up with a 136-seat configuration.
  • New flight to Edmonton by WestJet, starting on June 25. Two flights are planned per week, on Fridays and Saturdays.

The expanded schedule upholds Nanaimo Airport’s role as the region’s “gateway to the world.” Travellers will be able to connect to Canada’s major airport hubs using the airport as home base.

Comprehensive Safety Measures

Nanaimo Airport’s safety protocols include a touchless parking app and self baggage tagging at check-in. These are in addition to mandatory masks, physical distancing, and enhanced cleaning and sanitization.

Air Canada and WestJet safety measures include defogging planes with hospital-grade disinfectant and screening passengers before boarding. Airplane HEPA filters can remove more than 99 per cent of bacteria and viruses. They circulate new air into the cabin 20 to 30 times per hour.

“We’re ready to welcome passengers back once they feel safe to travel again,” says Dave Devana, President and CEO of Nanaimo Airport.

Nanaimo Airport: What’s Involved in Winter Operations Preparations?

By Uncategorized

Vancouver Island is lucky enough to experience less snow than the rest of the country, but to ensure the safety and reliability of flights, the YCD team still prepares early each year for any chance of a harsher than expected winter. These preparations include a variety of training programs and an entire fleet of snow removal and management vehicles. Here are a few details on what YCD’s winter preparation looks like:

 

 Snow and Ice Removal:

Snow removal techniques at Nanaimo Airport include a combination of the use of plow trucks, pickup trucks, runway sweepers, front end loaders, snowblowers and skid-steer loaders. We also have plenty of shovels, brooms, and urea spreaders to maintain a high level of safety both groundside and airside.  To keep surfaces ice-free, potassium acetate, sodium formate, urea or other de-icing materials are used. Different chemicals are used based on the severity of each situation and the area they are being used. Chemicals that are spread on the aircraft movement areas are later swept away ensuring the safety of the aircraft.  It is also imperative that Nanaimo Airport’s instrument landing system be kept clear of snow and ice. To ensure the highest level of safety is being maintained, regular inspections of the runways and all pathways are also conducted.

One of Nanaimo Airport’s Snowplows, pictured here towing a sweeper.

 

Aircraft Operations: 

Both WestJet and Air Canada teams also have winter de-icing processes in place. De-icing is removing snow and ice and preventing the future build upon the aircraft’s wings and tail. De-icing fluid, typically a mixture of glycol and water, is sprayed under pressure to remove the snow and ice.

Crews hard at work, deicing for an early morning flight.

 

Terminal Operations: 

Staff at Nanaimo Airport are trained to be diligent with ensuring the operations inside the terminal also remain safe for passengers. During the winter months, this includes increased cleaning of wet floors,  plowing and shovelling of parking and pedestrian paths, as well as regular updates on our social media pages to let passengers know of any road conditions that may cause delays. To see these alerts or any other updates, follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

 

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