NDP MLAs say funding supports the Nanaimo Airport and local jobs

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NANAIMO – NDP MLAs Doug Routley, Sheila Malcolmson, and Adam Walker say $720,000 in funding for the Nanaimo Airport will mean people can travel for essential purposes and access the services they need.

This support will ensure the airport is able to weather the challenges brought on by the COVID-19 travel restrictions and will help them plan for a post-pandemic world.

“Travel restrictions brought on by the pandemic have been really hard on the transportation sector,” said Doug Routley, MLA for Nanaimo-North Cowichan. “Hope is on the horizon with the arrival of the vaccine, but we know it will be some time before people are moving around at pre-pandemic levels. This funding will help bridge the gap so the Nanaimo Airport can cover costs and plan for the return of travellers.”

The New Democrat government issued a one-time investment of $6.2 million to various inter-city bus operators and $16.5 million for regional airports to support operations between April 1, 2021 and March 31, 2022.  Inter-city bus operators and regional airports will use the funds to pay for operating costs, like maintenance expenses for buses, air terminals and runways, as well as for payroll, rent and other overhead costs that keep these services operating.

Inter-city bus operators help people, especially those living in rural communities, travel safely, affordably and efficiently for essential purposes. In the past year, the industry has experienced a significant decrease in ridership, affecting revenues. This funding will help companies maintain service over the next year and build back stronger as ridership returns.

Airports have experienced a significant decrease in operating revenues that, without financial help, could affect their ability to support and sustain fire suppression and essential medical evacuation services. This grant will provide regional airports the funds necessary to maintain air terminals, runways and other operations that are essential for the movement of goods and people.

This announcement is part of B.C.’s $10 billion COVID-19 response, which includes the StrongerBC for Everyone recovery plan — a plan that protects people’s health and livelihoods while supporting businesses and communities.


Sheila Malcolmson, MLA for Nanaimo:

“People rely on flights out of Nanaimo to Calgary and Vancouver for work, and in normal times, to visit their family and friends. We’re investing in the Nanaimo Airport so people can continue commuting for essential reasons and so that this important piece of infrastructure has the support to build back stronger as we make our way out of the pandemic.”

Adam Walker, MLA for Parksville-Qualicum:

“The Nanaimo Airport provides vital services to people in our community and the major drop in revenue this past year has been tough. Our government recognizes that airports need support right now to make it to the other side of the pandemic and that is what we are delivering on today.”

Learn More: https://news.gov.bc.ca/24103