Victoria International Airport is among 11 B.C. airports receiving an injection of federal dollars this summer.
In a statement Friday (July 30), the government announced $11,721,721 in funding through its regional air transportation initiative to help ensure connectivity and jobs to and from smaller regions in the province.
The Victoria airport (YYJ) will receive the largest sum, nearly $3 million.
“This funding announcement is welcome news which will assist YYJ to reinstate lost air service, attract new air service, build passenger demand and continue to operate a safe and efficient airport with world class safety and health standards,” said Victoria Airport Authority president/CEO Geoff Dickson.
“Air connectivity is a key to economic prosperity and we look forward to help building back the visitor economy.”
YYJ has seen an enormous drop in traffic during the pandemic, plummeting from nearly two million passengers through its doors in 2019 to less than 600,000 in 2020. Although there has been a small degree of bounce back in the last couple of months, numbers continue to sit at record lows. In June, 12,746 passengers went through the airport, compared to 169,825 in 2019.
Nanaimo will receive funding in two areas: approximately $1.38 million for the airport commission and $346,000 for the Port Authority. The Comox Valley Airport Commission has funding of about $1.1 million heading its way.
The remaining regions include Prince Rupert, Bella Coola, Prince George, Kamloops, Fort St. John, Golden, Terrace and Cassidy.
“Regional airports and infrastructure are critical components of the B.C. economy, both for trade and for the travel that many Canadians are starting to look forward to as we emerge from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. This funding will go a long way towards getting these assets back on their feet,” said Terry Beech, parliamentary secretary to the fisheries and economic development ministers.
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