Airport helps kids meet world-famous Snowbirds

1 August 2016

Thanks in part to Nanaimo Airport, some Central Island children living with serious illnesses will get to meet the pilots of the world-famous Canadian Forces Snowbirds .

The 431 Squadron aces serve as ambassadors to the non-profit CH.I.L.D. Foundation, which helps children living with inflammatory bowel diseases.

The pilots will be in Nanaimo on August 10 to perform a free aerial show over our city’s harbour and to raise awareness of the foundation’s work.

As part of the visit, Nanaimo Airport and the Nanaimo Flying Club will host a special private session for local children and their parents who are members of CH.I.L.D. Participants will meet the Snowbird pilots and take pictures with them.

“This is an opportunity for us to give local kids a once-in-a-lifetime memory,” says Nanaimo Airport CEO, Mike Hooper. “We’re proud to support the great work of the CH.I.L.D. Foundation. It makes a difference in the lives of Central Island families.”

The foundation’s mandate is to find a cure for Crohn’s Disease, ulcerative colitis and liver disorders. These illnesses cause excruciating pain, vomiting and chronic fatigue, among other symptoms. Children living with the disorders are often confined to their homes, miss a lot of school, and can’t participate in many activities such as playing sports.

“I can’t wait to see the smiles when the kids and their families get to meet the pilots,” Mike says.

Smiles will also be the order of the day when the Snowbirds perform, beginning at 5:30 p.m. on Aug. 10 high above the city. Thousands of Central Island families are expected to pack downtown Nanaimo to watch the aerial stunts that have made the Snowbirds a Canadian icon.

The roars of their jet engines will be heard for miles around, so for the few days the Snowbirds are in the area Nanaimo Airport encourages residents to be prepared for the noise in the skies. On the ground, the cheers of the Snowbirds fans may be almost as loud!