The Nanaimo Airport Commission will study the potential impacts of spending $35-70 million on the next phase of its airport master plan.
The airport commission, along with government and other partners, have spent “tens of millions of dollars” on improvements to runways, parking, lighting and instrument upgrades over the past decade and a half, stated a press release, and Phase 2, with an estimated cost between $35-$70 million, is coming as the industry recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Plans include increased services and expansion of cargo facilities to meet higher passenger numbers, in addition to jobs in aeronautics, commercial opportunities and critical emergency service support for Vancouver Island communities and resource sectors.
Nanaimo Airport Authority and PricewaterhouseCoopers will conduct the study, noted the press release, and will “outline how planned capital and infrastructure improvements” will affect municipalities, Indigenous communities, regional districts, tourism, resource and agri-food and transportation. It will also look at operations, terminal upgrades and socio-economic impact of airport improvements.
“As the sixth-largest airport in B.C., and one of the fastest growing in terms of annual passenger volumes, we need a better understanding of how our airport can support this increased movement of people and align with regional tourism strategies,” said Keith Granbois, Nanaimo Airport chief financial officer, in the press release.
The study’s findings will be crucial in helping the airport “articulate” to stakeholders current and future potential of the project work, he said.
The study will be partially funded from money from Island Coastal Economic Trust’s investment readiness program, which will contribute $30,000 of the $60,000 budget.
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