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

South Wellington community association hopes to save old school from demolition

Nanaimo school district staff to report on fate of South Wellington Elementary later this month

Black Lives solidarity demonstration fills Nanaimo park

Anti-racism protest held at Maffeo Sutton Park on Friday afternoon

Nanaimo RCMP seek help locating missing indigenous youth

Family of William Baker worries he’s in company of people putting him at risk

Nanaimo man wanted on assault warrants

John Bates wanted following two separate incidents from earlier this year

Stz’uminus motivational speaker and musician named ‘emerging cultural leader’ in Nanaimo

Patrick Aleck is among the recipients of the city’s Culture and Heritage Awards

Trudeau offers $14B to provinces for anti-COVID-19 efforts through rest of year

Making a difference in municipalities is a pricey proposition

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Indigenous families say their loved ones’ deaths in custody are part of pattern

Nora Martin joins other Indigenous families in calling for a significant shift in policing

‘Alarmed’: Health critic calls for more data on COVID-19 in trucking industry

Saskatchewan, Ontario and Quebec said that level of detail is not being collected

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

UPDATED: Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park arrested

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

Kelowna Mountie who punched suspect identified, condemned by sister

‘How did he get away with this? How is this justifiable?’

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Most Read