With just over three months left in the calendar year, 2012 has already been a record-shattering year at the Nanaimo Airport.
“In August,we had the highest number of passengers ever travel through our terminal,” Nanaimo Airport president and CEO Mike Hooper said in a press release. “And that’s just the tip of the iceberg — since last August, we have actually surpassed our historically set passenger records each month.”
The Nanaimo Airport (YCD) has been enjoying monthly double-digit growth in passenger numbers since January. Hooper credits this strong growth to YCD’s improved reliability.
“The Instrument Landing System (ILS) we installed in 2010 has really been a game changer for us,” he said. “Previously, residents avoided flying from YCD in the winter because of the fog. But now that we have improved our weather reliability rating to over 99 per cent year round, we are restoring our reputation, and passengers are regained faith in this airport.”
Hooper believes the growth in passengers will motivate Air Canada to increase its winter schedule to seven flights daily. This expanded Air Canada winter schedule, along with services to the Vancouver International Airport’s South Terminal by Orca Airways and Island Express, will mean central Island residents will have 13 return flights each business day to the Lower Mainland to connect onto the world.
Hooper is optimistic about the future and direct flights to more destinations.
“Our airport team continues to proactively meet with air carriers to discuss the opportunity for new services and routes,” he said. “Increased passenger numbers will be a key factor in attracting new carriers.”