Helicopters have extra parking on the city’s waterfront now that Nanaimo Port Authority and Pacific Heliport Services, have completed an expansion at the cruise ship terminal.
The agencies announced Wednesday the expanded heliport received final certification from Transport Canada Nov. 6 and is now fully operational.
Pacific Heliport Services, a subsidiary of Helijet International, is the licenced manager of the private Nanaimo Heliport facility.
Two helicopter parking sites have been added to the flight apron, which allows multiple aircraft to be positioned at the site during day and night operations.
The expansion means the port authority site can also now accommodate B.C. Air Ambulance helicopters while the landing pad is closed temporarily at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital for construction work.
Rick Hill, Helijet vice-president of marketing and commercial services, said the added extra spaces to park aircraft at the site are permanent and will help accommodate future schedule expansions with potential future business growth.
“Because there was just a takeoff-landing area, you couldn’t park aircraft there, so if you ever had two aircraft you had a conflict,” Hill said. “You had to get one out before you could get another one in. This allows an aircraft to be parked there, which allows greater schedule flexibility and things like that, so there’s every intention that it stays.”