Artist renderings of the Nanaimo Airport’s terminal expansion project. (Nanaimo Airport/Office of Mcfarlane Biggar Architects + Designers/Checkwitch Poiron Architects)

Construction set to begin on Nanaimo airport terminal expansion

First phase of construction project to begin in March or April

The Nanaimo Airport is about to get bigger.

Construction is expected to begin on the airport’s terminal, which, once completed, will see it increase by 14,000 square feet.

Mike Hooper, the airport’s president and chief executive officer, said he expects the project to break ground in March or April.

“It’s exciting,” he said.

The $14-million project, which includes $5 million in funding from the federal and provincial governments, will see expansions to the terminal’s departure lounge, baggage and security screening areas and is expected to be completed by 2019. It’s the first phase of a 20-year $55-million expansion plan for the airport that will eventually see the terminal expand from 23,680 square feet to 70,395 square feet.

Hooper said once Phase 1 is complete, the security area will be increased to handle significantly more people and seating in the departure lounge will increase from 140 to 320, adding that all the expansion plans now will help the airport in the long run.

“We are building with a long-term vision,” he said. “This $14-million build will set up the security area for the long term.”

story continues below

Hooper explained that the first phase won’t cause any disruptions to daily operations at the airport and that staff will available to assist passengers during construction. He said once Phase 1 is complete, there won’t be any expansion at the airport for awhile.

“We’re going to build for about two years and then we will be good for a number of years before we have to do anything more,” he said.

The airport enters 2018 on a high note, having handled 358,000 passengers in 2017 according to Hooper. The airport also saw WestJet add year-round service to Vancouver last year, the construction of a new hanger by Alkan Air and Air Canada Rouge announced non-stop seasonal service to Toronto, which is expect to begin in June.

Hooper said that with the addition of the new routes, the airport is expecting to handle 406,000 passengers this year. He said the airport’s runway can handle the Boeing 737-700 and Boeing’s new 737-MAX7, which has an extended range compared to previous generations of the 737.

“Our runway will be able to reach all of North America, Hawaii and the Caribbean,” he said. “As the population grows and the people using YCD increase, the air carriers will start direct services to a number of destinations in North America, Hawaii and Cuba into the future. It’s not a matter of if, but when.”


nicholas.pescod@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook or follow Nicholas Pescod on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

Chemainus family pledges $50,000 to Chemainus Theatre Crisis Relief Fund

The Hilton family pledged $50,000 toward a matched fund. If fully matched, it will raise $100,000

Local woman makes face masks to raise funds for LRCA Food Bank

Cheryl Lowrence made 30 face masks and raised $326.25 for the food bank

Ladysmith family creates music video to show appreciation for community in the face of COVID-19

Sheila Richards, 77 is the star of new music video celebrating community kindness in Ladysmith

Burning complaints prompt regulation reminder from North Oyster Volunteer Fire Department

NOVFD has responded to at least 10 burning complaints in since April 1

VIDEO: Procession to honour Snowbirds Capt. Jennifer Casey comes to Halifax

Snowbirds service member died in a crash in Kamloops one week ago

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

We’re asking you to lock arms with us, as we look to better days ahead

Cullen commission into money laundering in British Columbia resumes today

Inquiry was called amid growing concern that illegal cash was helping fuel real estate, luxury car and gambling

Bike shops busier than ever, but owners worry about stock supply issues

Uptick in cyclists brings new challenges for shops

RCMP facing ‘systemic sustainability challenges’ due to provincial policing role

Provinces, territories and municipalities pay anywhere from 70 to 90 per cent of the cost of the RCMP’s services

One man dead after standoff with Chilliwack RCMP

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the RCMP’s role in the death

B.C. employers worry about safety, cash flow, second wave in COVID-19 restart

A survey found 75 per cent of businesses worry about attracting customers

Ex-BC Greens leader Andrew Weaver says province came close to early election

Disagreement centred on the LNG Canada project in northern B.C.

Canada’s NHL teams offer options to season-ticket holders

Canadian teams are offering refunds, but also are pushing a number of incentives to let them keep the money

Most Read