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Nanaimo Airport receives $5M for terminal building

Nanaimo Airport. - News Bulletin File
Nanaimo Airport.
— image credit: News Bulletin File

Nanaimo Airport’s terminal building expansion stands to benefit from close to $5 million in funding from both the federal and provincial governments.

In a press release issued Saturday, both levels of government announced joint infrastructure investment money of $2.48 million each. Nanaimo Airport will provide $2.48 million as well for a total of $7.46 million.

The terminal building project has an estimated price tag of $12 million and the airport will borrow for the remaining amount, said Mike Hooper, Nanaimo Airport president and CEO.

Hooper said the project will include work to increase the passenger lounge, security area and baggage areas.

“The terminal building expansion, we’re doing it under a 20-year master plan. It’s about a $54-million build overall and this first component is of the first module,” said Hooper. “We’re going to do each phase or module based on passenger use and available dollars.”

Hooper estimated there will be 350,000 passengers coming through Nanaimo Airport this year and that could increase to about 450,000 by 2020.

“Estimated completion for the terminal building, security and baggage areas is by spring 2019. However, we will ensure we do not interrupt the passengers using the facility,” said Hooper.

The money is critical and the current expansion would not be possible without the federal and provincial grants, Hooper said.

Other parts of the first phase include work to expand the airport apron and construction of a fire hall on the airport site, which is a Transport Canada regulation.

The fire hall costs about $900,000, with $630,000 coming from Transport Canada’s Airport Capital Assistance Program and the remaining $370,000 coming from Nanaimo Airport. The parking lots and apron will be paid for by Nanaimo Airport at a cost of $800,000, said Hooper.

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