Airport helps e-commerce boom, eyes cargo expansion

31 May 2021

Nanaimo Airport plays an important role in the explosion of ecommerce. It’s a role that ties into the airport’s plan for growth.

Many online orders made by Central Vancouver Island residents and businesses ship through Nanaimo Airport. Air transport is what makes fast delivery to your doorstep possible. It also creates opportunities.

FedEx Canada, one of the airport’s business partners, saw business jump some 45% over last year. E-commerce drove the surge. The company had to reconfigure its space to handle the deluge of residential parcels. FedEx also added another cargo flight here. And it boosted its trucking system to meet demand.

All the work required additional people to handle it. More employees and casual drivers were hired. The airport worked with the company to quadruple the size of its employee parking on site.

Land available for warehousing

Nanaimo Airport Commission plans to capitalize on the boom in commercial shipping. It will expand into air cargo warehousing and distribution services. The move will diversify airport revenues. Current revenue is primarily based on passenger travel. Generating more income from freight will help secure the airport’s stable financial future.

The space needed for warehousing and distribution is already earmarked. The airport’s land development plan makes about 35 acres in the northwest section available. It’s being marketed to developers and investors.

Transportation hub for region

Brining new investment and business to the area is part of the airport’s growth strategy. It plans careful management of its vacant land to create regional benefit.

The City of Nanaimo’s economic development strategy identifies airport development as key. The plan includes the goal of creating a transportation, cargo and logistics hub.

Nanaimo Airport also continues to cooperate with the Regional District of Nanaimo. The RDN is updating its regional growth strategy, Official Community Plan and zoning for a commercial/industrial area. And though the airport operates under federal jurisdiction, it champions our local communities. Nanaimo Airport Commission works with municipal, regional and First Nations governments.