Nanaimo Airport On Target To Meet Net Zero Goal

August 23, 2023

Continual Improvement And Development At Growing Central Island Facility

The Nanaimo Airport terminal building

NANAIMONanaimo Airport is doing its part in reaching the government’s Net Zero targets by 2030 and has achieved Airport Carbon Ac-creditation Level One.

The facility continues to implement its Climate Change Action Plan to ensure it meets its decarbonization goals, and is working towards achieving Levels Two and Three. Na-naimo Airport is currently climate positive through carbon offset credits.

“We recognize that relying on these carbon offset credits to be climate positive is a transitional measure and not a long-term solution in combating climate change,” says Keith Granbois, Chief Financial Officer and Vice President of Business Development. “We will continue to green our vehicle fleet, advance through our Airport Carbon Accreditation Program, and engage with other decarbonization initiatives.

“We will remain active in emerging green aviation technology and make strategic alliances and partnerships in the sustainable aviation sector. We will support developing a sustainable aviation sector.”

The passenger lounge at Nanaimo Airport

Granbois says it’s important to recognize the sheer amount of investment that airports and airlines are putting into alternative, sustainable fuels and hydrogen.

“They’re putting millions and millions of dollars into fuels to get them to net zero by 2050,” he adds. “People don’t often realize how much technology and effort that takes, and how much more it’s going to take to get there.”

There always seems to be good news at Nanaimo Airport, which recently completed the runway overlays and is now working on lighting upgrades and the preliminary stages of the next expansion of the terminal. Phase one of that expansion was to make room for security screening, and next up is upgrading the fa-cility’s technology and increasing the facility’s outgoing baggage area and making more room in the departure lounge and concession area.

WestJet recently landed a Max-8 737 jet at Nanaimo Airport, which demonstrates the runway’s capability.
Direct Air Canada flights to Toronto are now underway, and Pacific Coastal Airlines just announced it will begin two routes – to the Vancouver Airport South Terminal, and direct flights to Kelowna, in September.

Nanaimo Airport continues to grow as it expands its customer base throughout Vancouver Island

“Both routes are really significant, as the Okanagan is an important market for us, and the South Terminal is Pacific Coastal’s main terminal which will open us up to all of their markets,” Granbois points out. “98 per cent of the market on Vancouver Island is less than a two-hour drive from here, and from here, it’s one-layover to pretty much any destination in the world.

“If someone wants to fly over to Europe, if you’re flying out of Nanaimo, you only have to fly to one airport to get anywhere, while it’s two or three flights from other airports just to get to the U.S. From here, it’s just one layover in Calgary through WestJet, or to Toronto via Air Canada.

Nanaimo Airport’s numbers are rising, and although they’re still 80 per cent of pre-pandemic passenger levels.

“We’re growing, and we’re reliable,” Granbois states, adding they continue to serve more passengers than Comox Airport. “Nanaimo is the fastest growing municipality in BC, and it’s earmarked as a growth area. We’re here to meet those needs.”

By Mark MacDonald




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