Building for the Future

Terminal Building Expansion Project

Demonstrating their support for Central Vancouver Island’s airport of choice, the federal and provincial governments each invested $2.46 million from the Building Canada Fund. The Nanaimo Airport Commission is paying the rest of the project cost. The total cost for this terminal expansion project is $15 million. Additional expansion projects will be completed when passenger volumes demand and additional funding is available.


Terminal Expansion Overview

In 2016 the Nanaimo Airport Commission Board of Directors approved a 20-year Master Development Plan for the terminal building. The expansion project fulfills three critical priorities for the Commission: regional economic development; economic stimulus through infrastructure construction; and meeting escalating demand for air service through the next decade. The terminal expansion project will expand the passenger departure lounge toward the current apron. The ground breaking for the Terminal Expansion Project was held on April 17, 2018 and the project has an expected completion date of 2020.

The Benefits 

Nanaimo airport expansion emphasizes comfort, efficiency

Spacious. Bathed in natural light. Calming.

Those will be your first impressions as you enter the expanded Nanaimo Airport terminal building. Now under construction, its design will enhance your travelling experience while getting you to or from your flight as efficiently as possible.

The project will add some 14,000 sq. ft. of space – an increase of approximately 60% over what we now offer. The security screening area, departure lounge and terminal concourse will all grow. The design balances open spaces with the features you need to make your trip a smooth one.

More room, less hassle

When you enter the departure area, the first thing you’ll notice is how much more room you have to move around. Even during peak times, congestion will be minimized thanks to a larger concourse. The result will be a familiar environment with a more welcoming ambiance. The goal is to take some of the stress out of trip.

After checking in with your airline, you can then use the new baggage drop-off area. Signage will point you in the right direction. Currently you and your luggage go through security together, which can mean lines that don’t move as quickly as you’d like. In the expanded terminal, you’ll drop your luggage at a separate station. You’ll be freed from having to drag it any further.

Once that’s done, you may have some time before needing to go through security. If so, the larger concourse will offer the amenities you’ve come to expect. There will be food and reading material at the café, art and historic memorabilia on display, and clean, wheelchair-accessible washrooms.

Our information desk will also be available. You’ll be able to call on our customer service team and our volunteer ambassadors, the Blue Navigators, in their bright blue vests. They’ll happily assist you with whatever you need to get your trip off on the right foot.

Security area, departure lounge add space, comfort

When you’re ready, you’ll then head to an expanded security screening area. The additional space will allow you to move through this area faster than ever before. Technologically advanced scanners will also shave time off the screening.

When you’re through security, you’ll make your way to a departure lounge that will have twice as many seats as it does now. You’ll marvel at the high ceilings that create the feeling of airiness. Huge glass walls will serve as your window to the outside world. From the comfort of your padded seat, you can relax while watching planes come and go against a backdrop of forest and sky.

The enlarged lounge will have plenty of room for you to walk around to stretch your legs before your flight. Or, if you need to make or take a phone call, or check your email, you can find a quiet corner. Free wifi will help you keep in touch with your world, and charging stations can keep your devices at full power.

Video boards around the lounge will help you keep track of your flight. You’ll gets status updates on all incoming and outgoing planes.

And if you’re wanting a snack, or something to nibble on the plane, you can hit a new food kiosk as well as vending machines.

Design keeps walking to a minimum

Once it’s time for boarding, you’ll head through new departure gates. It’ll be a short walk to your plane.

“Short walk,” in fact, has been our mantra in designing the expansion. When construction finishes, our air terminal building will be much larger than it is now. But everything you need will still be within a comfortable distance. Unlike large airports, you’ll move from the front door to the departure gates without having to wander for blocks.

The building’s logical layout will be intuitively easy to use. The interior design will be modern, comfortable and aesthetically pleasing. And the calming atmosphere will help take some of the stress out of travelling.

For you, and the hundreds of thousands of other people who rely on us as their gateway to the world, it’ll make quite an impression.

20-Year Master Plan

Terminal Expansion Project


The investment and its economic impact

Demonstrating their support for Central Vancouver Island’s airport of choice, the federal and provincial governments each invested $2.46 million from the Building Canada Fund. Another $150,000 is coming from the B.C. Airport Assistance Program. The Nanaimo Airport Commission is paying the rest of the project cost.

Nanaimo Airport (YCD) is a significant driver of economic development in the region. Airport operations created $229 million in direct and indirect economic output in 2017. Expanding the air terminal building will help create jobs that support local families and more opportunities for the regional tourism, business and education sectors It will also help attract more investors and new residents.