More than 100 flights leave daily from Victoria’s International Airport. If it seems much busier at the facility, that’s because it is, according to a new economic study.

The President of the Victoria Airport Authority Geoff Dickson said the report outlines what they already know, which is that the facility is steadily growing.

“The last time we did a study it was 440 million dollars. And we know that the traffic’s doubled, essentially, since then,” Dickson said.

The report by InterVISTAS Consulting determined the airport provides 2,800 direct jobs, and 1,100 indirectly. All those employees earned a total of $270 million.

The total economic output of the airport is $880 million doubling in the past ten years.

Dickson said it’s proof of the importance of the airport to the region.

“We knew it would be a number much larger, just didn’t fully expect it to be $880 million which, I think, really speaks to the economic importance of the airport to the region,” Dickson said.

In downtown Victoria, Tourism Victoria CEO Paul Nursey said the airport is critical.

“It just shows the powerful engine that the airport is.”

He said tourism on Vancouver Island is expected to remain strong, and that requires access to get here.

“We believe we are in a prolonged period of structural growth. What YYJ does very well, is they don’t build it, and they will come. They build right alongside the demand curve,” Nursey said.

As demand increases so does the expansion of the airport. Next on the airport’s list of priorities is a doubling of the holding area for departing passengers and eventually, a significant expansion of the terminal.

Dickson said there is cautious optimism for continued growth. “You’ve got to think of an airport that ten years ago, there was a million people coming through here. Now there’s almost two. Then you if fast forward another ten years, there could be close to three million.”

With all this growth projected, the future of Victoria’s International Airport is soaring.

 

 

Mary Griffin