Nanaimo Airport Breaks Ground on Historic $15-Million Expansion

Nanaimo, B.C. (April 17, 2018) — The first shovel of dirt was turned over today on a $15-million project that will expand Nanaimo Airport’s (YCD) Air Terminal Building, creating business and investment opportunities at one of the country’s fastest growing airports.

Ground was broken on an infrastructure investment project that is a partnership between Nanaimo Airport Commission and the federal and provincial governments. Each government contributed $2.48 million. The investment will substantially enlarge the size of the terminal building, creating more comfort for passengers and enhancing efficiency and safety. The project is one of the largest in the airport’s history.

“We are 10 years ahead of passenger forecasts and this investment will help us expand to ensure we continue to deliver great service to our customers,” says Lucie Gosselin, Board Chair of the Nanaimo Airport. “The Nanaimo Airport Commission appreciates the support provided by the Government of Canada and the Provincial Government for public infrastructure projects, through the New Building Canada Fund – Small Communities Fund Program.”

“I am pleased to see construction getting under way on this airport expansion project here in Nanaimo. These important upgrades will meet travellers’ needs now and into the future while laying the groundwork for increased tourism and economic growth in this beautiful region,” says the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, federal Minister of Infrastructure and Communities.

“The Province of B.C.’s investment in the expansion of the Nanaimo Airport will help the facility meet current and future travel demand,” says Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Claire Trevena. “In helping fund this expansion, we are supporting the Nanaimo Airport Commission’s long-term vision for the airport, which is integral to the mid-Island economy.”

The investment in improvements to the Nanaimo Airport will help it keep pace with the growth of the mid-Island.

The expansion will add 14,000 square feet, increasing the terminal building’s size by nearly 60 per cent. More space in the security area will allow travellers and their baggage to move faster through the screening. Passengers will also enjoy the benefits of a much larger departure lounge, which will have about 320 seats – more than double the current number.

“As the Central Island’s gateway to the world, we know hundreds of thousands of people rely on us for safe, convenient and comfortable travel,” says Nanaimo Airport CEO and president Mike Hooper. “We have carefully planned this expansion to ensure we continue to provide exceptional customer experience during the construction period. By expanding we’ll be better able to meet the needs of our region today and for the next generations.”

Nanaimo Airport has set records for passenger volume for eight consecutive years. More than 390,000 people are expected to pass through its gates in 2018.

The infrastructure investment will inject millions of dollars into the regional economy, through job creation and the purchase of materials and services. Project manager Durwest Construction Management is an Island-based firm. The project team includes Nanaimo-based Checkwitch Poiron Architects.

The tender process for the project has finished and pre-construction work has begun on site. Expected completion date is 2020. Last year, the airport completed work on the runway apron and lighting to help prepare for the expansion.

“This project creates more opportunities for travellers, business owners and investors,” says Hooper. “It will help us as we continue to pursue more air service for central Vancouver Island. It provides more space, and potentially more customers, for new businesses to partner with us, and it will spur land and business development at the airport that attracts investors from around the world.”

In 2016 the Nanaimo Airport Commission Board of Directors approved a 20-year Master Development Plan for the air terminal building.

The expansion project fulfills three critical priorities for the Commission:

  • ·         Regional economic development
  • ·         Economic stimulus through infrastructure construction
  • ·         Meeting escalating demand for air service through the next decade

To be fiscally responsible, the commission will carry out other work in the terminal building development plan when passenger volumes demand and additional funding is available.