Nanaimo Airport strategy for growth: Diversify and upgrade

1 April 2024

Revenue diversification and updated infrastructure are among the strategic keys to Nanaimo Airport’s future.

Nanaimo Airport Commission’s five-year Strategic Plan calls for YCD to strengthen its core business and diversify revenue. The initiative is one of several objectives in the plan, which helps guide airport operations.

The plan aims to deliver many benefits to the region. It will help drive economic development while enabling YCD to meet the air transportation needs of the Island today and for future generations. It will create new business and employment opportunities for residents. And it will provide even more support for the many sectors that benefit from air travel, including tourism and education.

Diversifying revenues

YCD relies heavily on passenger fees to fund its operations. To diversify its financial foundation and make it more resilient, the airport strategy calls for developing vacant land.

Current priorities include:

  • Exploring partnerships to develop its Gateway Commercial – North Area. This parcel of land would serve as a catalyst for airport growth.
  • Expanding cargo services. YCD will focus on developing three acres for this purpose.
  • Designing a controlled parking lot area, to support land development.

Updating infrastructure

Significant investment in infrastructure has helped transform Nanaimo Airport into the Island’s gateway to the world. Runway improvements and Air Terminal Building expansion helped attract more routes, giving Island residents more travel destinations.

The airport commission’s current priorities for infrastructure enhancements include:

  • Installing an improved Runway Alignment Indicator Lighting (RAIL) system at the north end of the airport. The work will improve land conditions and reliability for commercial airlines.
  • Developing a south end Air Terminal Building expansion plan. The project would include more airline check-in counter space, improved baggage handling, and additional departure lounge room.

 Pursuing new routes

As part of its ongoing strategy, Nanaimo Airport Commission continues to work with major and regional airlines to develop new routes within Canada. Travellers can fly from YCD to the country’s major air hubs, giving them easy access to hundreds of global destinations.

As well, the commission continues to build partnerships with airports serving global destinations.