Monday, September 26, 2011

Nanaimo Airport Expansion Complete

$26 Million Expansion Complete
Push To Expand Direct Flights To Alberta

The expansion project which saw Nanaimo Airport double the terminal and lengthen the runway is being hailed as a major step forward for the economy of Nanaimo and the mid Island region. Next on the agenda will be to attract direct flights to Calgary and Edmonton via Jazz Air.

While the Nanaimo airport reports an increase in traffic with a total passenger count in 2010 of nearly 165,000 people it still lags well behind Comox airport which recorded 296,567 passengers in the same year.

Clearly, Nanaimo should be able to offer a better service to some mid island passengers currently using the airport at Comox if we had more flights. However, like all business the competition is fierce and any increase in business locally at the expense of Comox will likely be hard fought.

Comox Airport is aggressively pursuing added services to their facility which already includes direct flights to Canadian destinations via West Jet in addition to offering charter flights to holiday destinations in Mexico in the winter months. A recent study Comox airport commissioned indicates that a one flight daily service to the USA could add $24 million annually to the local economy.

This is another area where Nanaimo should be able to establish itself as a central hub for travel to and from Vancouver Island however, Comox shows no signs of giving up market share easily.


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