Passenger numbers are on the rise at the Comox Valley Airport. File photo

Passenger numbers on the rise at the Comox Airport

Passenger traffic at YQQ increased by 12.5 per cent: AGM

Despite a tumultuous year for the airline industry with Boeing MAX 8 groundings affecting flights in Canada, the Comox Valley Airport surpassed its forecasted passenger numbers in the past year.

Fred Bigelow, CEO of the Comox Airport said passenger traffic at YQQ increased by 12.5 per cent in the 2018/2019 year (ending in March) at the airport’s annual general meeting Wednesday.

The increase comes at a time when fees – terminal fees and airport improvement fees – remained unchanged.

Bigelow credited the increase to a variety of factors, but noted both Air Canada and WestJet increased their capacity to serve the area.

RELATED: Two new appointments to the Comox Valley Airport Commission board

“More seats equals more people. We’re taking advantage of the capacity,” he noted.

While Bigelow said the Max 8 groundings – which happened in early March 2019 – had a significant impact on the airport’s network, particularly with flights to/from Alberta, passenger capacity grew by around 20 per cent.

He noted some improvements to the airport throughout the past year such as a 25 per cent increase in parking, LED light conversion on the apron and terminal and de-icing capacity for planes on spots one through four.

As part of YQQ’s master plan moving forward, Bigelow said they will be working on overflow parking, paving the existing long-term parking gravel lots and completing the initial terminal expansion design option analysis.

“We’re approaching capacity and we’re driving a building that’s 15 years old,” he added.

In terms of future flight network expansion and air service, he explained he would like to see new routes, but said the Comox Airport is a non-hub airport which feeds the hubs such as Vancouver and Calgary.

In terms of a direct flight to the U.S. – particularly Seattle – from YQQ, he said having Alaska Airlines service the Valley has always been a desire, but it doesn’t seem likely anytime soon. Other airports such as Victoria and Regina, who had direct service to the U.S., have lost their carriers within the past year.

To read the Accountability Report and financial statement, visit

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

19 Wing Comox welcomes new wing commander

Col. Dany Poitras assumed command of 19 Wing Comox

Pacific Salmon Foundation contributes $42,000 to Comox Valley wild salmon restoration projects

The Pacific Salmon Foundation announced it is contributing more than $42,000 to… Continue reading

Mount Washington zip line nearing completion

Once finished, the line will be the longest and steepest zip line on Vancouver Island

PHOTOS: Vancouver Island MusicFest revisited

This year’s lineup included Colin James, Tom Cochrane and lots more

Jets host peewee baseball tourney

The Comox Valley peewee A Jets baseball team is hosting a 10-team… Continue reading

Body, burning truck found near northern B.C. town

RCMP unsure if the two separate discoveries are related

Couple found dead along northern B.C. highway in double homicide

Woman from the U.S. and man from Australia found dead near Liard Hot Springs

UPDATE: West Kelowna fawn euthanized, not claimed by sanctuary

Gilbert the deer has been euthanized after a suitable home was not found in time

BC Wildfire Service warns wet weather no reason to be complacent

Fire risk currently low for much of B.C. compared to same time over last two years.

Bank of Canada lowers qualifying rate used in mortgage stress tests

Home sales softened last year after the federal government introduced new stress test rules for uninsured mortgages

Port Hardy RCMP cleared in arrest that left man with broken ribs, punctured lung: IIO

The IIO noted the matter will not be referred to crown counsel for consideration of charges.

B.C. man pleads guilty in snake venom death of toddler

Plea comes more than five years after the incident in North Vancouver

Trudeau says Ottawa open to proposals for B.C. refinery as gas prices soar

Prime minister says he knows B.C. residents are struggling and the federal government is open to ideas

Most Read