Passenger numbers soaring at Comox Valley Airport

The numbers are soaring sky-high at the Comox Valley Airport, as it set a record in 2012 for passengers served — more than 327,000.

The numbers are soaring sky-high at the Comox Valley Airport, as it set a new record in 2012 for passengers served — more than 327,000, beating its record by about 16,500.

Tuesday, YQQ released the new data, which represents a six-per-cent increase from 2011. The previous record of 310,450 was set in 2007.

“We are extremely pleased with our performance in 2012,” said YQQ CEO, Fred Bigelow. “We are cautiously optimistic that these statistics represent a full recovery following a severe economic depression that dampened travel trends across the country.”

YQQ served 327,827 passengers last year, almost 19,000 more than in 2011. The airport’s busiest month was August, with 38,074 passengers — an increase of about 3,500 over the same month the previous year.

While the total average growth rate for North American airports has yet to be reported, Bigelow is confident YQQ will stack up well against similar airports across the country.

“We achieved an unprecedented growth of six per cent in 2012; essentially doubling the target outlined in our strategic plan,” he explained. “This provides us with great support in our messaging to future business partners that the Comox Valley Airport is an excellent place to do business.”

While Bigelow cautioned it would be unrealistic to expect growth to continue at such a high rate in subsequent years, he said YQQ is focusing its efforts in 2013 on obtaining additional air service for the Comox Valley.

“A very strong business case exists for an additional sunspot service out of YQQ,” Bigelow confirmed. “Our focus for 2013 will be on obtaining a new route to complement our current direct service to Puerto Vallarta Mexico through WestJet.”

The Comox Valley Airport’s strategic plan estimates that YQQ’s passenger numbers will continue to grow, reaching as high as 344,125 by 2015.

— Comox Valley Airport

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