Eco-friendly airport protects environment

14 October 2016

Environmental stewardship plays a major role in the commission’s business decisions. That’s because protecting the environment is one of Nanaimo Airport Commission’s key corporate values.

Nanaimo Airport isn’t focused solely on the skies. The Central Island’s gateway to the world also devotes its attention to the land and water.

The eco-friendly culture drives a variety of programs protecting water supplies, conserving habitat and recycling materials. It also ensures compliance with government environmental regulations.

And airport staff embrace their mission, even volunteering their time to support it.

As an example, a team from Nanaimo Airport joins the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup , a national program to eliminate shoreline trash. This month the volunteers will again scour the upstream area of Haslam Creek, preventing garbage from entering the fragile aquatic ecosystem.

Airport activities are guided by a pro-active Environmental Management Plan. It monitors and corrects risks before they result in unsafe conditions, accidents or harm to the environment.

The plan covers the airport’s water and land resources, natural habitat, aeronautical noise, energy use, and waste management.

Some of its key directives include:

  • Protect water resources

To learn more about the Cassidy Aquifer, the airport takes samples from eight locations to get data on water flow and quality. The airport also has strict protocols for preventing onsite leaks and spills.

  • Enhance fish habitat

The airport partners with community organizations to enhance fish habitat in the lower reaches of Haslam Creek. Coho, pink and chum salmon live there as well as cutthroat and rainbow trout.

  • Manage bird habitat

The airport helps Canadian Wildlife Services and community groups to conserve the Coastal Vesper sparrow population.  The work balances the need to maintain a safe airfield with the needs of a species that can safely coexist with aviation.

  • Manage vegetation

An ongoing program protects the airport flight path and sets strict environmental guidelines. Its goals? Passenger safety, and the return of native species of vegetation.