Comox Airport CEO clarifies where money came from

Dear Editor,

I would like to clarify statements that have been made regarding the Comox Valley Airport’s marketing budget, which includes the corporate branding.

This marketing budget is not funded by the one-time grant offered through the 2003 referendum to the Comox Valley Airport (YQQ) as a contribution toward the costs of building our current F/O Cottingham Civil Passenger Terminal Building.

Dear Editor,

I  would like to clarify statements that have been made regarding  the Comox Valley Airport’s marketing budget, which includes the corporate branding.

This marketing budget is not funded by the one-time grant offered through the 2003 referendum to the Comox Valley Airport (YQQ) as a contribution toward the costs of building our current F/O Cottingham Civil Passenger Terminal Building.

The marketing budget is funded from Comox Valley Airport’s (YQQ) fees generated for airport services that we provide.

Its purpose is to create awareness of our airport both  locally and at destinations we serve. Corporate identity, branding and marketing play a role in enhancing  the image of the Comox Valley Airport as a professional world-class airport contributing to the economic growth of the region.

The marketing budget supports our board-approved strategic plan and the operating budget is also approved by our board of directors.

Cossette, the agency chosen for the airport branding project, is a reputable company recognized both nationally and internationally and listed as one of top 15 advertising agencies in North America.    We were able to obtain their services through a public request for proposals process and they were not the highest-priced submission.

Cossette has done a remarkable job at reflecting the way residents see themselves with the way they want others to think of them. They have not disappointed me.

InterVISTAS Consulting Group, our aviation consultants, are industry experts in the aviation and tourism industries. They have delivered more than 2,000 projects with over 400 clients in 63 countries worldwide.

They are working with staff to build business cases for additional airlines/destinations that can meet the travel needs of our community. I consider them to be the best in the business.

I understand that investors obviously would like to see a return on their money and I believe, without a doubt, that the taxpayers’ investment in the passenger terminal building of the Comox Valley Airport (YQQ) is money well spent.

In general, the Comox Valley Airport and the regional tourism industry generate a total of approximately 11,300 direct jobs, $119 million per year in taxes, and $571 million in direct economic output.

Our marketing initiatives help to support our attempts to develop air service, which in turn will help our communities.

For example, one daily 70-seat Q400 transborder aircraft operation generates 12.6 person years of employment per annum and one domestic, 119-seat B737-600 aircraft operation generates 19.5 person years of employment per annum.

Employment is generated each time an aircraft lands at the Comox Valley Airport.

As a community, we must not only share in the benefits, but exercise great care to maintain and not to jeopardize our investment  in the Comox Valley Airport (YQQ).

Shirley de Silva

Editor’s note: Shirley de Silva is the CEO of the Comox Valley Airport.

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