Government of Canada supports Victoria International Airport with new funding for critical infrastructure projects

Transport Canada

VICTORIA, BC, May 25, 2022 /CNW/ – As Canada works towards recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, investments in our airport infrastructure continue to be crucial to maintain safety, security, and connectivity for travellers, workers and communities. Government of Canada investments also help ensure Canada’s aviation industry is well-positioned to recover from the impacts of the pandemic.

Today, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport, Annie Koutrakis, on behalf of the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Omar Alghabra, announced more than $4 million in new funding to help Victoria International Airport recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and to support continued air services and important transportation infrastructure projects at the airport.

The airport will receive more than $1.3 million from Transport Canada’s Airport Critical Infrastructure Program for upgrades to the lighting for the approach to Runway 09. The work will include:

  • installation of new land-based and water-based lighting systems, with the water-based fixtures being structurally reinforced to withstand impacts from barges that work in the area; and
  • reconfiguration and extension of the existing floatplane dock to accommodate the new lighting system.

In addition to funding for the infrastructure projects, the Government of Canada also provided the airport with over $3 million from Transport Canada’s Airport Relief Fund to help it maintain continued airport operations and essential air services for residents and workers in Victoria and surrounding communities.

Quotes

“The Victoria International Airport is a key transportation hub not just for Victoria, but for much of Vancouver Island. It connects us with family and friends, helps us discover new destinations, and is a pivotal trade corridor for many Victoria businesses. This funding will enhance airport safety for travellers, air crews and airport workers, while supporting jobs and our regional economy.”  

Annie Koutrakis
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

“As we move forward with the safe and gradual return of activity in the aviation sector, in a way that continues to support the health, safety, and security of all Canadians, it will be imperative that we continue to ensure a vibrant and competitive Canadian air sector. These critical investments will allow the Victoria International Airport to invest in the infrastructure and tools needed to help re-invigorate the aviation industry and allow Canadians to feel safe and secure when they travel.”

The Honourable Omar Alghabra
Minister of Transport

Quick Facts

  • The Airport Critical Infrastructure Program, launched in May 2021, will provide $571.2 million in funding over five years to airports for eligible infrastructure projects related to safety, security, connectivity to mass transit systems, or testing and screening related to COVID-19 and its variants.
  • The Airport Relief Fund, launched in May 2021, provided $64.8 million in funding in 2021-2022 for targeted airports whose 2019 revenues were less than $250 million.

Associated Links

Transport Canada is online at www.tc.gc.ca.

Security Incident at Victoria International Airport (YYJ)

May 24, 2022

Security Incident at Victoria International Airport (YYJ)

At approximately 1:30 p.m. today, the RCMP was requested to respond to a call for service at Victoria International Airport (YYJ).

“As always, the security and safety of our staff and visitors is our priority, said Geoff Dickson, Victoria Airport Authority (VAA) President and CEO.  The RCMP determined that there was potential risk to airport staff and passengers and directed that parts of the air terminal building close.”  This resulted in the cancellation of approximately 20 scheduled flights from 2:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. 

The call for service is confirmed to have been an incendiary item and inert surplus military supplies contained in checked baggage.    

Throughout the incident, we cooperated fully with the authorities and emergency response crews and any other personnel that assisted the RCMP.  We are thankful for the teamwork shown by the RCMP, the YYJ emergency response teams and our mutual aid partners in Sidney and North Saanich. 

The airport is now open for regular operations and scheduled arrivals will resume this evening. Travellers are advised to confirm the status of their flight with their airline and to check our website at www.victoriairport.com.   

VAA will provide comment on the status of airport operations and further details about the incident may be directed to the RCMP.

Lynx Air’s Inaugural Flight to Victoria Takes Off

Canada’s new ultra-affordable airline is celebrating its arrival in Victoria with a seat sale

VICTORIA, BC, May 12, 2022 /CNW/ – Lynx Air’s (Lynx) first flight from Victoria International Airport took to the skies today, marking the commencement of twice weekly return services to Calgary international Airport. In the lead up to summer, Lynx will expand its return services between Victoria and Calgary to three times a week, offering 1,100 seats a week on this popular route. 

Lynx Air’s (Lynx) first flight from Victoria International Airport took to the skies today, marking the commencement of twice weekly return services to Calgary international Airport. (CNW Group/Lynx Air)
Lynx Air’s (Lynx) first flight from Victoria International Airport took to the skies today, marking the commencement of twice weekly return services to Calgary international Airport. (CNW Group/Lynx Air)

Canada’s new ultra-affordable airline is on a mission to make air travel accessible to all Canadians and, in keeping with that mission, Lynx is offering fares to Victoria from as low as $49* one way.  Lynx’s network spans 10 destinations coast to coast across Canada, including Victoria, Vancouver, Kelowna, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Toronto Pearson, Hamilton, Halifax, and St. John’s. The airline operates a fleet of brand-new, fuel-efficient Boeing 737 aircraft and plans to grow its fleet to more than 46 aircraft over the next five to seven years.

To celebrate Lynx’s inaugural Victoria flight, the airline has launched a limited-time seat sale, offering up to 50 per cent per cent off all base fares to and from Victoria.  The sale will run from noon MST on May 12, 2022 to 11:59 a.m. on May 14, 2022. For full sale details and to reserve an ultra-affordable fare, please visit FlyLynx.com.

“We are excited to be bringing our ultra-affordable fares to the community of Victoria and Vancouver Island,” said Merren McArthur, CEO of Lynx Air.  “Whether you are traveling to connect with friends and family, to explore the beautiful coastline of Vancouver Island or to take in the vibrant culture and historic architecture of the Garden City, Lynx will ensure a great flying experience at an ultra-affordable price.”

“As the economy begins to reopen, we are pleased to see Lynx introduce service between Calgary and Victoria,” says Geoff Dickson, President and CEO, Victoria Airport Authority. “An ultra-low-cost airline like Lynx will offer affordable travel options for our community and provide opportunities for travellers to explore the beauty and culture of Victoria.”

Lynx’s full flight schedule includes:

Round Trip MarketService StartsWeekly Frequencies
Calgary, AB to Vancouver, BCApril 7, 20227x
14x (from May 20)
Calgary, AB to Toronto, ONApril 11, 20227×12 x (from June 28)
Vancouver, BC to Kelowna, BCApril 15, 20222x
Calgary, AB to Kelowna, BCApril 15, 20222x
3x (from June 29)
Calgary, AB to Winnipeg, MBApril 19, 20224x
Vancouver, BC to Winnipeg, MBApril 19, 20222x
Vancouver, BC to Toronto, ONApril 28, 20227x
Toronto, ON to Winnipeg, MBMay 5, 20222x
Calgary, AB to Victoria, BCMay 12, 20222x
3x (from June 29)
Toronto, ON to St. John’s, NLJune 28, 20222x
7x (from July 14)
Calgary, AB to Hamilton, ONJune 29, 20222x
4x (from July 29)
Hamilton, ON to Halifax, NSJune 29, 20222x
Toronto, ON to Halifax, NSJune 30, 20223x
5x (from July 30)
Edmonton, AB to Toronto, ONJuly 14, 20225x7x (from July 30)
Edmonton, AB to St John’s, NL**July 14, 20225x
Calgary, AB to Halifax, NS **July 14, 20225x
Calgary, AB to St John’s, NL**July 16, 20222x
Edmonton, AB to Halifax, NS**July 30, 20222x
Please note that dates are subject to change. Visit the website for full schedule details.
* Available for a limited time; fares are accurate at the time of release and include taxes and fees; fares vary by destination and date

 Tickets are on sale now at FlyLynx.com

About Lynx Air 

Lynx Air (Lynx), is Canada’s leading ultra-affordable airline and is on a mission to make air travel accessible to all with ultra-affordable fares, a fleet of brand-new state-of-the-art Boeing 737 aircraft and a great flying experience. Lynx is a privately owned Canadian airline with the financial backing and industry expertise required to transform the Canadian aviation landscape. To learn more visit FlyLynx.com.

Ultra-reliable and energy-efficient, Lynx Air’s fleet of Boeing 737 aircraft are serviced and operated by one of the most experienced teams in the business. The aircraft offers advanced aerodynamics and highly efficient engines, which result in significant fuel savings that cut the airline’s CO2 emissions by an estimated 14 per cent over even the most efficient single-aisle planes. These are vital improvements that decrease Lynx’s carbon footprint and help make it one of Canada’s greenest and most sustainable airlines. All Lynx aircraft meet the highest internationally certified safety standards and are certified by Transport Canada.

Air Canada Affirms Market Leadership by Expanding its North American Network this Summer as Recovery Accelerates

  • Seven New Routes launching from three Canadian hubs
  • Restoration of 41 North American routes, return to 11 North American cities
  • Air Canada offers the most seats, frequencies of any Canadian carrier with 90% of its pre-pandemic North American capacity this summer
  • Air Canada’s leadership and unique extensive network will stimulate the recovery of the travel and tourism industry

MONTREAL, Feb. 22, 2022 /CNW Telbec/ – Air Canada today announced an expansion of its North American network for Summer 2022 as the carrier’s recovery from COVID accelerates. With the launch of new service on four transborder and three domestic routes, as well as the restoration of 41 North American routes, Air Canada will operate to 51 Canadian and 46 U.S airports this summer and offer customers the largest network and most travel options of any Canadian carrier.

New services will be launching to the U.S. from Montreal to Atlanta and Detroit, Toronto to Salt Lake City, and Vancouver to Austin. Within Canada, three new routes will begin between Montreal and Gander, Calgary and Fort St John, and Vancouver and Halifax. Additionally, service will be restored on 41 North American routes, including: 13 routes from Toronto, nine from Montreal, five from Ottawa, five from Vancouver, four from Calgary, three from Halifax, and two from Edmonton. The routes are timed to connect with Air Canada’s domestic, U.S. and international network at the airline’s global hubs in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal 

“Canadians are ready to travel, and we’re excited to be offering a very significant growth in our schedule this summer. With our recovery accelerating and North American flying reaching 90% of pre-pandemic levels this summer, we are offering more options across the continent, including seven new city pairs from our Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver hubs, and the resumption of 41 suspended or previously announced new routes. These changes will also grow and cement our position as the leading carrier of choice in the transborder market, with the most non-stop flying between Canada and the U.S. and as the foreign carrier with the most service to the U.S. Moreover, our revitalized North American network, designed to connect easily with our global network, gives customers by far the widest choice of routings and destinations of any Canadian carrier this summer,” said Mark Galardo, Senior Vice President, Network Planning and Revenue Management at Air Canada.

“To match our unrivalled network, we are also enhancing our award-winning airport and onboard services. All 23 of our Maple Leaf Lounges are now open, with new features such as ordering from your seat for safety and greater convenience, and we have introduced a range of touchless airport services that make the check-in and boarding process more convenient. Customers can also benefit from our transformed Aeroplan program, which offers members greater value and flexibility when redeeming reward travel. And, of course, all customers will enjoy Air Canada’s industry leading customer service, recognized at the most recent Skytrax World Airline Awards, where our people won for Best Airline Employees in Canada and in North America.”

Award Winning Service

Select routes will feature wide-body aircraft with Air Canada Signature Class, with lie flat seating, and Premium Economy. Seats in all cabins are available for purchase now at aircanada.com, via the Air Canada App, Air Canada’s Contact Centres, and travel agents.

Air Canada’s onboard services on flights greater than two hours feature new Economy Class Bistro selections, including products by Canadian brands and partners, such as meals inspired by celebrated Montreal Chef Jerome Ferrer.

All customers can collect and redeem points through Aeroplan, Canada’s leading loyalty program, when travelling with Air Canada, and eligible customers have access to priority check-in, Maple Leaf Lounges, priority boarding and other benefits.

New Transborder and Domestic Routes 

Flight From To Frequency Start Date 
AC 799 Toronto Salt Lake City Thu, Sat, Sun 02 JUN 
AC 8567 AC 8569 Montreal Atlanta  Double Daily 01 JUN 
AC 8581 AC 8583 Montreal Detroit Double Daily 01 JUN 
AC 1062 Vancouver Austin Mon, Wed, Fri, Sun 01 JUN 
AC 7900 MontrealGander Daily 25 JUN 
AC 362 Vancouver Halifax Mon, Thu, Fri, Sat, Sun 01 MAY 
AC 8453 Calgary Fort St. John Daily 01 MAY 

Returning and Previously Announced New Routes

Flight From To Frequency Start Date 
AC 8680 AC 8682 Toronto Baltimore Double Daily 15 MAY 
AC 8745 AC 8747 Toronto Charlotte Double Daily 01 MAY 
AC 8705AC 8707Toronto Cincinnati Double Daily 01 MAY 
AC 8895AC 8897 Toronto Indianapolis Double Daily 15 MAY 
AC 513 Toronto Portland Mon, Tue, Wed, Fri 27 JUN 
AC 8795 AC 8797 Toronto St. Louis Double Daily 07 MAY 
AC 8590 Toronto Hartford Daily 01 JUN 
AC 8917 Toronto Milwaukee Daily 01 JUL 
AC 8677 Toronto New Orleans Daily 01 JUL 
AC 8865 Toronto Kansas City Daily 01 JUL 
AC 1941 TorontoFort McMurrayTues, Thu, Sat03 MAY
AC 1975Toronto NanaimoMon, Wed, Fri29 JUN 
AC 8410TorontoGanderDaily01 JUN 
AC 8791 Montreal Pittsburgh Daily 01 JUN 
AC 8735 Montreal Raleigh Daily 01 JUN 
AC 8759 Montreal Baltimore Daily 01 JUN 
AC 8771 Montreal Nashville Thu, Fri, Sat 02 JUN 
AC 1285 Montreal Phoenix Tue, Sat 03 MAY 
AC 527 Montreal San Diego Wed, Fri, Sun 20 MAY 
AC 515 Montreal Seattle Daily 31 MAY 
AC 1685 Montreal Victoria Mon, Wed, Fri, Sat 03 JUN 
AC 8543 Montreal ReginaDaily 01 MAY 
AC 8545 Montreal Saskatoon Daily 01 MAY 
AC 532 Vancouver Boston Daily 04 JUN 
AC 8596VancouverSacramentoDaily01 JUN
AC 539 Vancouver Anchorage Daily 07 MAY 
AC 8482 Vancouver Yellowknife Daily 01 JUN 
AC 1870 Vancouver Quebec Mon, Wed, Fri 02 MAY 
AC 8869 Ottawa Washington-Reagan Daily 01 MAY 
AC 8109 Ottawa Winnipeg Daily 01 JUN 
AC 8182 Ottawa Charlottetown Daily 01 JUN 
AC 8098 Ottawa Quebec City Daily 01 JUN 
AC 7701 AC 7705 AC 7709 AC 7711 Ottawa Toronto Island Up to 4 times Daily01 MAY 
AC 8661 Halifax Boston Daily 24 JUN 
AC 8549 Halifax Goose Bay Daily 30 APR 
AC 584 Calgary New York-Newark Daily 01 MAY 
AC 392 Calgary Halifax Daily 30 APR 
AC 1872 Calgary Quebec Tue, Thu, Sat, Sun 01 MAY 
AC 8289 Calgary Castlegar Daily 01 MAY 
AC 8563 Edmonton San Francisco Daily 01 MAY 
AC 8113 Edmonton Yellowknife Daily 01 JUN 

Air Canada may continue to adjust its schedule as more opportunities arise or based on COVID-19’s trajectory and the further easing of government travel restrictions.

Travel Policy: Book with confidence

Air Canada’s new refund policy is applicable to all tickets purchased. It offers customers the option of a full refund to the original form of payment, an Air Canada Travel Voucher or the equivalent value in Aeroplan Points with a 65% bonus should the airline cancel or reschedule a flight by more than three hours.

To book your next trip and for most updated schedule, visit aircanada.com.

Travelling internationally? Visit our Travel Ready Hub for the latest government entry requirements. Customers are responsible for ensuring they meet all government entry requirements, including holding the correct travel documents, visas, any required health certificates, and all other eligibility requirements for any flights they purchase. Government requirements may change with little notice.

About Air Canada

Air Canada is Canada’s largest domestic and international airline, the country’s flag carrier and a founding member of Star Alliance, the world’s most comprehensive air transportation network. Air Canada is the only international network carrier in North America to receive a Four-Star ranking from the independent U.K. research firm Skytrax, which in 2021 also named Air Canada as having the Best Airline Staff in North America, Best Airline Staff in Canada, Best Business Class Lounge in North America, as well as an Excellence award for its handling of COVID-19. Also in 2021, Air Canada was named Global Traveler’s Best Airline in North America for the third straight year. In January 2021, Air Canada received APEX’s Diamond Status Certification for the Air Canada CleanCare+ biosafety program for managing COVID-19, the only airline in Canada to attain the highest APEX ranking. Air Canada has also committed to a net zero emissions goal from all global operations by 2050. 

Lynx Air’s network continues to bloom as it adds Victoria, BC as its sixth destination

The ultra-affordable airline adds “The City of Gardens” to its network and has also announced a new route between Toronto and Winnipeg

CALGARY, Alberta, Feb. 15, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Today, Canada’s new ultra-affordable airline, Lynx Air (Lynx), is continuing to take off in the Canadian market with the addition of Victoria, BC to its growing network and the expansion of its presence in Toronto, ON, and Winnipeg, MB.

With this announcement, Lynx’s network expands to six Canadian cities: Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, Winnipeg, Kelowna and Victoria.

Passengers will now be able to fly between Winnipeg, MB, and Toronto, ON to connect with loved ones or take a long awaited vacation. Lynx will offer two flights per week between these two cities beginning Thursday, May 5, 2022 starting at the price of $69* one way.

On Thursday, May 12, 2022, Lynx sets its sights on the breathtaking coastal views of Victoria, BC. Canadian travellers now have an ultra-affordable option to check out the vibrant city’s historic architecture and endless opportunities for adventure. The airline will offer two services a week between Calgary, AB and Victoria, BC, increasing to three weekly services on Wednesday, June 22, 2022, with prices starting from $39* one way from Victoria to Calgary. Prices from Calgary to Victoria start at $49* one way.

“We are excited to be adding beautiful Victoria to our network and to be offering more ultra-affordable travel options for travelers wanting to fly between Toronto and Winnipeg,” said Merren McArthur, CEO, Lynx Air. “We will continue to ramp up our schedule in the lead up to summer, so please stay tuned for more updates, as we continue our mission to make air travel more affordable for all Canadians.”

“As the economy begins to reopen, we are pleased to see Lynx introduce service between Calgary and Victoria commencing in May. A low-cost airline like Lynx will offer affordable travel options for our community and provide opportunities for travellers to explore the beauty and culture of Victoria,” said Geoff Dickson, President and CEO, Victoria Airport Authority.

Passengers can visit www.FlyLynx.com for full schedule details and to book their Lynx flight to enjoy a well-deserved vacation, visit loved ones or experience convenient travel for business.

*including taxes and fees, prices are subject to availability.

New Route Details

RouteService StartsWeekly Roundtrip

Frequency
 Winnipeg, MB – Toronto, ONMay 5, 20222x
 Calgary, AB – Victoria, BCMay 12, 20222x
3x (from June 22, 2022)

About Lynx Air

Lynx Air (Lynx) is Canada’s new ultra-affordable airline, on a mission to make air travel accessible to all, with low fares, a fleet of brand-new Boeing 737 aircraft and great customer service. Lynx is a privately owned Canadian airline with the financial backing and industry expertise required to transform the Canadian aviation landscape.

B.C. airports tap into land assets for post-pandemic survival

From Vancouver Sun 🔗 link to source story – thanks to CW

Canadian airports anticipate passenger numbers will not return to pre-COVID levels until 2025

Derrick Penner  •  January 24, 2022

People move their luggage at Vancouver International Airport (YVR) on Dec. 16, 2021.
People move their luggage at Vancouver International Airport (YVR) on Dec. 16, 2021. PHOTO BY ARLEN REDEKOP /PNG

At YVR, the airport authority is enhancing air-cargo services for burgeoning, COVID-inspired ecommerce.

In Kelowna, their focus has been a new hotel and potential aerospace campus.

Victoria International Airport is tweaking its strategic plan to diversify the use of nearby lands.

These are some of the efforts as B.C.’s airports work to “future proof” operations for an expected slow recovery of air travel from COVID-19 related travel restrictions.

So far, that recovery has also been “quite a roller-coaster,” according to Geoff Dickson, CEO of the Victoria International Airport, where passenger traffic climbed to 70 per cent of pre-pandemic levels by December, only to plummet back to 25 per cent after the emergence of Omicron.

“Just when you think you’re out of it, then another variant comes along and we’ve noticed an immediate affect traffic demand,” Dickson said.

If anything, airports have learned that they were getting little too dependent on passenger revenues when air traffic was hitting record highs at facilities such as YVR, Abbotsford and Kelowna, which was exposed when COVID-19 slammed air travel down to almost nothing through most of 2020.

So Dickson, in the last year, has leased land to Western Canada Spill Response, the marine manufacturer Titan Boats and Amazon, which is building a last-mile distribution centre at the airport in a deal that originated before the pandemic.

“I’d say (the pandemic) probably crystallized our efforts to a large extent and really put a priority on moving the project forward with a view to try to replace some of the lost revenue,” Dickson said.

At YVR, where the airport authority had the advantage of being able to rely on financing to cover its shortfalls, it is a matter of “future-proofing” the facility’s financial stability, according to a report to be presented to Vancouver City Council by CEO Tamara Vrooman this week.

Doing that will mean developing more of its industrial land base in Richmond as a transportation hub, the report said.

One bright spot at YVR is that cargo traffic at the airport returned to 83 per cent of its pre-COVID levels over the summer, which it sees as something to build on.

“Through better utilization of the land on Sea Island, YVR can help meet the need for large trade and transportation-related sites in support of B.C.’s economic recovery plans,” the report said.

Kelowna International Airport has also seen a bounce back in cargo traffic, thanks to booming ecommerce, said airport director Sam Samaddar.

“If there was something that came out of this was that we needed to look at how we diversified our revenue even further and not rely solely on the passengers coming through our doors,” Samaddar said.

A new hotel could be useful in catering to new domestic routes that Kelowna started serving over the summer, thanks to travel restrictions that discouraged international travel.

“What’s unheard of is having a brand new market open up right in the middle of a pandemic,” Samaddar said of one route in particular, a direct Air Canada flight to Montreal, which launched in July for year-round service.

It also added flights to Hamilton, Kitchener-Waterloo, Saskatoon and Regina. Victoria also added new flights to Winnipeg, Ottawa and Kitchener-Waterloo.

“Can we count on (those routes) going forward? I don’t know at this stage,” Dickson said. “But we’ll continue to obviously push for those routes and services and we think the carriers were pleasantly surprised.”

Samaddar said so-called ultra-low-cost airlines have helped inject optimism into the sector. In Kelowna, newcomer Lynx Air is one of the airlines to established service between Calgary and the Okanagan in the last year.

The ambitions of low-cost carriers Swoop and Flair helped Abbotsford International Airport edge back toward recovery as well, said general manager Parm Sidhu.

“What we all want is to get back to 2019 levels,” Sidhu said, although B.C. airports expect that won’t happen until 2023 — 2025.

Pandemic-related decline in air traffic caused Victoria International Airport almost $50 million in revenue

Passenger counts dropped to just 576,000 in 2021 from more than 1.9 million in 2019

From Saanich News – link to source story🔗

WOLF DEPNER | January 9, 2022

The Victoria International Airport lost almost $50 million in revenue over 2020 and 2021. (Black Press Media file photo)
The Victoria International Airport lost almost $50 million in revenue over 2020 and 2021. (Black Press Media file photo)

The authority managing Victoria International Airport lost almost $50 million in revenue in 2020 and 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new report, which also includes some potentially positive news for Canada’s 10th largest airport based on 2020 figures.

The figure of almost $50 million in lost revenue appears in the report from the Victoria Airport Authority Board of Directors appearing before Central Saanich council Monday.

“2021 was another challenging year for Victoria International Airport as the aviation industry continued to feel the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on air travel,” it reads. “Continued health measures, border closures, and changing rules for travel continued to impact passenger and revenue volumes.”

The report adds that the authority secured an unspecified amount of debt financing from CIBC to help withstand lost liquidity. “Through cost containment, (Victoria International Airport) is forecast to make a small profit, pre-noncash items,” it reads. “Capital projects were held to a minimum.”

The significant decline in revenue reflects lower passenger volumes. Passenger and aircraft activity typically account for 90 per cent of the revenue. While the airport recorded more than 1.9 million passengers in 2019, passengers dropped to just under 575,000 in 2020. Updates figures for 2021 show a nominal increase to just over 576,000 for 2021.

But the report also points out that passenger numbers picked up “significantly” in the second half of 2021 in a trend expected to continue in 2022.

Developments such as the arrival of ultra-low-cost carrier Flair offering non-stop routes Edmonton, Calgary and Kitchener/Waterloo and the arrival of Swoop offering non-stop routes to Edmonton and Calgary spurred some growth. WestJet, meanwhile, launched non-stop routes to Saskatoon, Winnipeg and Ottawa. International travel to the United States also resumed in late 2021 after the federal government had lifted restrictions in place since March 2020.

2021 also witnessed the completion or start of several new business developments on airport lands, including the completion of Titan Boats’ new manufacturing facility and the Western Canada Marine Spill Response facility. Likely none though generated as much interest as the authority’s deal with York Realty leading to a large warehouse to be operated by Amazon opposite a residential neighbourhood in Sidney.

The building’s initial design (since revised) caused considerable controversy as locals complained about the building’s appearance. The lack of consultation prior to the announcement also ruffled feathers.

The report also updates the public on plans to fix a blind spot that has left a $4.3-million taxiway extension un-usable.

“Final construction was coordinated to accommodate CCTV cameras, which will provide (air traffic control) the ability to view the newly built east extension of Taxiway Echo and furthermore allow aircraft access to the full length of Taxiway Echo,” it reads.

Overall, the report speaks of better days ahead for the airport in predicting higher consumer confidence in air travel as vaccination rates rise and travel restrictions ease. This said, it also calls on governments to take a broader perspective in the face of future pandemics.

“The aviation industry manages risk regularly and recognizes that it cannot be eliminated entirely but managed in a way to move people safely,” it reads. “This is a perspective for governments to consider how they can not only protect their citizens from the virus, but how to protect citizens from joblessness too.”

As a generator of close to $1 billion annually in economic activity, a “vital thriving” airport is critical to region’s overall economic vitality, it reads.