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F R E E FEBRUARY 2004 • Your Airport Community Newspaper – Vancouver International Airport

Federal Government Urged to Reduce Excessive Airport Rents Chambers of Commerce, VBT and YVR issue joint statement he Federal Government is being urged to drastically reduce airport rents in a joint statement issued last month by the Vancouver Board of Trade (VBT), the Richmond Chamber of Commerce and Vancouver International Airport Authority, and several other chambers of commerce and


boards of trade including the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. “At a time when the air travel industry is struggling, the Federal Government has unfortunately maintained its schedule to raise the rent at major airports across Canada,” said Darcy Rezac, managing director, the Vancouver Board of Trade. In 2004, rent obligation of all rent paying airports will increase by approximately eight per cent to approximately $270 million. Since 1992, national airports will have paid

over $1.5 billion in airport lease payments — a number that is expected to reach $4 billion within the next 10 years. “The Federal Government’s current position on airport rents is overly aggressive and represents a threat to the competitiveness of the cities whose airports are obligated to pay federal rent,” said Florence Gordon, president, Richmond Chamber of Commerce. Vancouver International Airport Authority

WestJet Poised to Begin Travel to Several U.S. Cities World’s Only ‘Flying Eye Hospital’ Visits Vancouver ight-year-old WestJet Airlines has announced it will make its long-awaited entrance into the U.S. market this October, beginning with regular scheduled service to Los Angeles, and the Florida vacation destinations of Fort Lauderdale and Orlando. Seasonal routes to Phoenix and Palm Springs, California, are planned for later in the fourth quarter. WestJet president Clive Beddoe admits that much still has to be worked out,



RBIS, a non-profit, nonaligned, global organization dedicated to saving sight worldwide, brought the world’s only flying eye hospital to Vancouver earlier this month. The visit, part of a goodwill tour for the people of Vancouver, was sponsored primarily by Dr. David Ho, president of HMY Airways and Companion Holidays. One of the world’s most


unique examples of a humanitarian aircraft, the modified DC-10 airliner transports a stateof-the-art medical school to areas The fully outfitted DC-10 is the world’s where access to only flying eye hospital. medical treatment is extremely limited. Its who work side-by-side with operating room comprises local doctors. The idea for a flying eye volunteer medical teams that include top ophthalmoloSEE FLYING EYE HOSPITAL, gists from around the world, CONTINUED ON PAGE 4

Managing Snow, Freezing Rain and Fish By Shelley Belgrave espite Vancouver’s reputation for mild weather, winter does make an appearance on the Lower Mainland. So when storms occur, such as those experienced early last month, how does YVR meet the challenges of passenger safety, punctual take-offs and landings, and ensure that specialty winter operations do not harm the environment? One such winter specialty operation is is the removal of snow and ice from air-



Glycol recovery vehicle cleans the ramp following the de-icing of a United Airlines plane. craft. This process, known as de-icing, is an important safety procedure as frost and snow can affect flight control gear. Even a

Traditional Lion Dance at YVR celebrates the Chinese New Year. According to Chinese astrology if you’re born in the Year of the Monkey, you are very intelligent, well-liked by everyone, and will have success in any field you choose.

YVR Merchants Celebrate Chinese New Year

Lion Dance Performers Usher in Year of the Monkey

small amount of roughness caused by ice, snow, or frost can disrupt airflow over a plane’s wing surfaces, reducing the amount of lift it needs to get off the runway. “Aircraft are de-iced as a matter of safety,” said Simon Robinson, environmental specialist with the Vancouver International Airport Authority. “However, the use of de-icing fluid carries with it environmental implications that must be carefully managed.”

n January 22, the Merchants at Vancouver International Airport (YVR) and numerous airlines celebrated the start of the Chinese New Year – the Year of the Monkey. Like the Western calendar, the Chinese Luna calendar is a yearly one, with the start of the year being based on the cycles of the moon. Because of the cyclical dating, the beginning of the year can fall anywhere between late January and the middle of February. A complete cycle takes 60 years and is made up of five cycles of 12 years, with each of the 12 years named after an animal. A traditional Lion Dance performance took place in the terminal as part of the celebration. The Lion Dance is an extension of Chinese martial arts and an important tradition in Chinese culture. Lion dances



De-Icing Operations at YVR


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A key chemical component of Aircraft De-icing Fluid, or ADF as it is commonly called, is glycol. Glycol is a chemical that resists freezing, but it also rapidly depletes available oxygen in water. This oxygen depletion can have negative impacts on fish and aquatic life. It is because of this potential impact and the quantities of de-icing fluid used at Canadian airports during the winter that Environment Canada has laid out strict usage guidelines. The Canadian Environmental Protection Act Glycol Guidelines state “the discharge of glycols into surface water resulting from aircraft de-icing and anti-icing activities at a federal airport will not exceed a concentration of 100 mg/L.” So how does an airport like YVR keep planes de-iced and still comply with strictly enforced environmental legislation? “Carriers at YVR carry out deicing operations under a Glycol

Mitigation Plan,” said Robinson. “This is a plan that details where deicing can take place at the airport and what equipment must be in place to contain the waste runoff.” Inland Technologies, headquartered in Truro, Nova Scotia, has been hired by the airlines to ensure environmental compliance is maintained throughout the Vancouver de-icing season. “A key part of making sure we meet the environmental regulations is containing the effluent,” said Randy Strohan, site manager for Inland Technologies. “We limit the glycol contamination by limiting de-icing to designed areas on the ramp,” said Strohan. “The liquid runoff is captured from these pads and sent to two holding lagoons.” Besides restricting the area where de-icing takes place to minimize contamination, Inland also operates three specialized vacuum trucks called

In a typical year, the carriers at YVR will use over 300,000 Two large lagoons are used to hold glycol effluent before it is recycled onsite by Inland Technologies. litres of de-icing fluid. “Glycol Recovery Vehicles” or GRVs. These vehicles are designed to remove sticky glycol from pores on the ramp, as even a tiny amount of ADF can cause high readings in storm water runoff. Carriers at YVR will typically use an average of 300,000 litres of ADF in a season, but this can go up to 600,000 in heavy winter conditions. As of mid-January, given the highly variable weather patterns that were experienced, several hundred thousand litres of ADF were already used. “As of January 9, six million litres of glycol contaminated effluent has

Students Help Raise $9,575 for Orphans’ Fund Delta’s Pebble Hill Elementary Wins Tree Decorating Contest ith the help of students from local communities, the Vancouver International Airport (YVR) Merchants and the Vancouver International Airport Authority (YVRAA) raised $9,575 for the CKNW Orphans’ Fund at the fifth annual Children’s Christmas Tree Decorating Contest held at the airport in December. As part of the contest, 30 Lower Mainland elementary school classes (Grades 1-4) decorated Christmas trees on which the public was asked to vote by donation. Voters’ names were automatically entered into a draw to win a trip for two, donated by


Air Canada, to any Air Canada destination in North America. A Grade 3-4 split class from Pebble Hill Elementary in Delta won first place and was awarded a digital camera for its efforts. Second place and a class stereo went to a Grade 2-3 split class from Richmond’s Quilchena Elementary School. Third place and a set of class watches went to a Grade 3 class from Brighouse Elementary in Richmond. Chris Breadner of Vancouver won the trip for two from Air Canada. Throughout December, the trees were displayed on the columns lining

YVR’s International Terminal Building. The Christmas trees sported handmade ornaments reflecting a variety of themes, including peace and Canada. The CKNW Orphans’ Fund raises money for disadvantaged children of the Lower Mainland in need of specialized equipment, teaching aids, auditory training systems and wheelchairs. It has established numerous endowments to provide bursaries and fund research as well as hosting The Picnic at Playland where 2,500 children with disabilities are treated to a day of food, entertainment and unlimited rides.

been collected from de-icing operations and is being recycled onsite,” said Strohan. Inland has developed recycling equipment to separate glycol from water, leaving clean water and a glycol product that is re-used in industrial

Excessive Rents, paid over $66 million in 2003, and expects to send some $72 million in rent to Ottawa in 2004. Vancouver pays significantly more rent on a per passenger basis than most other airports, and rent is the single largest cost of running Vancouver International Airport (YVR). “We believe a fair and equitable rent structure is achievable, and we look forward to hearing from the Federal Government upon completion of their review,” said Larry Berg, president and CEO, Vancouver International Airport Authority. “These are dollars we believe are better kept in our communities to ensure YVR continues to be a leader in economic growth for British Columbia.” In addition to the rent assessment, currently the federal government collects $400 million a year through the Air Travellers’ Security Charge; and $70 to $90 million a year for the special federal excise tax on aviation fuel.

Strategic Alliance Formed Between Mexicana and Iberia exico and Spain have never been closer now that Mexicana and Iberia, have signed a bilateral agreement of code-share flights and frequent flyer programs. Last month, Fernando Flores and Fernando Conte, the chief executive officers of both companies respectively, signed the agreement that will be in effect as of April 1, 2004, subject to government approval. The code-sharing agreement will allow passengers of both Mexicana and Iberia to travel with greater ease to regional destinations in their respective countries since both airlines


will be coordinating their schedules and products. Among other benefits, passengers will be able to check-in their luggage only once to their final destination and will accrue mileage on all flights for both carriers. Iberia’s customers will be able to choose from more than 30 Mexican destinations connecting through hubs in Mexico City and Cancun. In addition, the airline will have access to 25 destinations in the United States, Canada, Central and South America. Mexicana’s passengers will now have available Iberia’s transatlantic flights, which include more than 34

destinations in Spain, 31 in Europe and six in Africa and the Middle East. Iberia is a member of the oneworld airline alliance, which currently includes Aer Lingus, American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, LanChile and Qantas, with Swiss International Airlines set to become a fully integrated partner later this year. Mexicana’s membership in Star Alliance will end March 31, 2004, and it is expected that this new codesharing agreement with Iberia will make it easier for the airline to join the oneworld alliance.

applications such as automotive coolant. “The end result of the early January storms is that the plan to keep glycol out of the storm water worked,” said Strohan. “The water monitoring test results were very positive.”

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“A viable airport facilitates trade and attracts investment, thus spurring economic growth,” said Nancy Hughes Anthony, president and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. “The excessive range of taxes and fees that the Federal Government levies specifically on air travel is hurting the economy of our major urban centres.” An all-party report entitled “An Industry in Crisis: Safeguarding the Viability of the Canadian Airline Industry,” issued in 2003 by the House of Commons Standing Committee on Transport, recommended that the government provide immediate relief on rent and on these taxes and fees. Chambers and boards of trade in Vancouver, Richmond, Victoria, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Montreal, Halifax, and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, joined in calling for the federal government to reduce airport rents and reduce other air travel-related fees.

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PRESIDENT’S CORNER By LARRY BERG, President and Chief Executive Officer Open For Business And Poised For The Future or most people travelling through YVR, their airport experience is usually limited to the excellent services we offer in and around our terminals, whether it’s our parking facilities or one of the more than 140 shops, restaurants or services. What is less visible to passengers, however, is the airport community located beyond our terminals. YVR is home to some 400 businesses and organizations employing approximately 26,000 people. In addition to airlines, concessionaires and government agencies, the airport community includes importers and exporters, flight kitchens that provide food and beverages to the airlines, air freight forwarders and brokers, air cargo facilities and handlers, logistics and distribution hubs, and airline maintenance, helicopter and executive aircraft facilities. Together, they contribute more than $5.2 billion to the provincial economy each year. These businesses are integral to YVR’s continued growth and success. Our commercial development team – led by David Huffer, vice president, commercial development, and Ray Segat, director, business and land development – is actively pursuing new land and cargo development opportunities. Here’s a look at some of the new commercial developments at YVR, including some by internationally recognized companies. Last November, UPS opened a new 125,000square-foot facility on YVR’s northlands, the first development on this area of the airport. This new regional hub has province-wide benefits – it will generate jobs and help industries across British Columbia reach global markets. It is UPS Canada’s second largest facility, accommodating 400 employees and 100 delivery vehicles, and serving British Columbia with three jets and various feeder aircraft. On the south side of YVR, CHC Helicopters International is building a new 60,000-square-foot office and hangar facility on the site of the recently

F The ‘lions’ visited concessions and airline counters displaying a red envelope and head of lettuce, which were dispersed as a symbol of good luck and prosperity for the New Year. take place throughout the first few days of the Chinese New Year in order to bring good luck to the households and businesses which they visit. The Lion Dance is traditionally performed by two ‘dancers’ one at the head and the other at the tail of the lion. The dance is accompanied by loud music played on a large drum accompanied by a gong and cymbals to dispel evil. The climax of the Lion Dance is the Choi Cheng or ‘Picking the Green’ – vegetable leaves which are tied to a piece of string with a red packet containing money. These are hung above the door of a house or business and the lion ‘eats’ both leaves and the red packet, which symbolizes the distribution of wealth and good fortune to those present. AT YVR, the ‘lions’ visited the


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including the U.S. airports WestJet will use, and which Canadian airports will be departure points. Those details should be known in the spring. The addition of new, longer-range Boeing 737-700 series aircraft to the WestJet fleet is one of the key factors in allowing the airline to move from a strictly domestic network to a transborder operator, Beddoe said. WestJet has ordered seven new Boeing 737-700s to add to its all-737 fleet, scheduled for delivery in 2005, which will bring its fleet to 63 aircraft by the end of that year. In addition to its cross-border flights, WestJet also plans to add 120 weekly nonstop flights within Canada to its summer schedule this year. Included in this will be seven roundtrip flights a week from Vancouver to Ottawa. Despite turmoil in air travel after the September 11 terrorist attacks, the Calgary-based, discount air carrier has posted 28 straight profitable quarter results, making it one of the industry’s most profitable airlines. WestJet ( currently serves 24 destinations in Canada with its expanding fleet of Boeing 737 jet aircraft. With a strong focus on safety, and through its highefficiency structure, motivated people, and the provision of unmatched customer service, the airline has grown from serving Western Canadian destinations to being Canada’s largest coast-to-coast discount airline.

demolished AirBC Hangar. An industry leader, CHC provides helicopter transportation services to onshore and offshore petroleum markets around the world. It operates 13 bases worldwide, and employs more than 350 people. CHC’s new facility will open later this year. Acro Aerospace, part of the Vector group of companies, is one of the largest independent aviation repair and overhaul companies in the world. We are currently in discussion with Acro on potential expansion of its business here on Sea Island. In the heart of YVR’s Cargo Village, CARA Flight Kitchen, a leading provider of food and services to the airline catering and travel industry, recently completed a 36,000-square-foot expansion to their facility. CARA now has more than 100,000 square feet of dedicated facilities to better serve its aviation customers. Over on Russ Baker Way, on the southeast corner of Sea Island, the British Columbia Institute of Technology will soon begin construction of a $65 million, 284,000-square-foot Aerospace and Technology Campus. The facility will house a training hangar, state-of-the-art classrooms, advanced training equipment, flight simulators, and specially designed labs that will simulate the shop floors of aircraft maintenance and repair companies. It will enable BCIT to increase its student capacity to 1,000 people from the current 320 it can handle at its current location at YVR. It should come as no surprise that industry and educational leaders such as these have chosen YVR. These and future developments will help ensure YVR continues to grow as a hub for aviation activity in British Columbia. With more land available for development than any other West Coast airport in North America, and a strategic geographic advantage as the ideal gateway connecting the Asia-Pacific Region and the Americas, there is ample opportunity to grow.

Your Airport Community Newspaper FEBRUARY 2004 ISSUE • VOL. 11 • NO. 4 YVR SKYTALK, the official newspaper of the Vancouver International Airport, is published monthly by Westco Marketing Ltd. for the more than 26,000 people who make up the airport community at YVR. No portion of this publication may be reproduced in whole or part without the written permission of the publisher. Publisher: Associate Publisher: Editorial Liaison: Editorial Board:

Contributing Writers: Creative / Production: Photography:

Patrick Stewart Joan Stewart Ralph Eastman John Korenic, Heather Madden-Johns, Ralph Eastman,Ali Hounsell, Kim Abrams, Erin Sills Arnold Klappe, Phil Melnychuk, Jim Jorgenson James Martin Jim Jorgenson

VANCOUVER OFFICE: Suite 306 - 5400 Airport Road South Richmond, BC V7B 1B4 Tel: 604-736-6754 • Fax: 604-736-6750 Email: Printed on Recycled Stock using vegetable based inks Please recycle this product.




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Flying Eye Hospital, hospital began in the mid-1970s when Dr. David Paton, a Houston ophthalmologist, conceived the idea of an airborne, ophthalmologic teaching hospital. The first ORBIS aircraft, a DC-8 donated by United Airlines, took off on it first mission in 1982 when the staff of doctors, nurses and administrators flew to 14 countries and held programs that emphasized the handson transfer of surgical skills. Since then, ORBIS has expended its curriculum to include ophthalmologists, nurses, ophthalmic assistants, public health workers and biomedical engineers. The DC-8 was replaced with today’s fully outfitted DC-10 in 1994. As part of the ORBIS goodwill tour, a reception was held at the Vancouver International Airport, Piedmont Hawthorne/Shell Aero Centre, hosting the Vancouver area volunteer medical faculty. A one-hour documentary called “Into the Light,” featuring Canadian ophthalmologists who volunteer with ORBIS was premiered at the reception. “Into the Light,” produced and directed by Canadian filmmaker Peter Raymont, was shot in Tanzania and Ethiopia last year, and showcases the difficulties and rewards of training medical professionals in the developing world. It will broadcast on Sunday, February 15 at 7:00 p.m. on

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Discovery Health Channel. Since 1982, ORBIS has carried out more than 500 plane- and hospital-based programs in 82 countries. It has trained in excess of 63,000 ophthalmologists, nurses, biomedical engineers and other healthcare workers, who, in turn, provide treatment and training in their countries.

Northern Hawk Adds Calgary and Non-stop to Bella Bella O n March 3, B.C.-based Northern Hawk Aviation will add a nonstop flight from Vancouver to Bella Bella on Wednesdays. This flight will complement their existing four weekly flights, which fly via Port Hardy. In addition, starting March 1, the airline will add the city of Calgary, Alberta to its route network. Flights on the new twice-weekly service between the North Okanagan city of Vernon and Calgary will be on a Beech King Air 100 aircraft. Northern Hawk Aviation operates from Vancouver International Airport’s South Terminal, utilizing a

Friday, March 12th, 2004 8:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. International Terminal, Level 3 Across from International Food Court Come learn more about YVR’s award-wining health care services!

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fleet of executive twin-engine aircraft, which currently includes the Piper Chieftain and Beech King Air 100. In addition to the new Vernon and Calgary services, the airline provides scheduled and charter air services to the B.C. communities of Powell River and Salmon Arm. Bookings can be made on their secure on-line booking engine at, or by calling (604) 222-8132, toll free at 1-866-225-8181, or through a travel agent.

Air Fair2004 Join us for professional and social networking Plus informational presentations and aviation industry updates. When: Time: Where:

Friday, March 12, 2004 17:30 (Doors at 17:00) Richmond Inn, Conference Centre 7551 Westminster Highway, Richmond

Here’s your opportunity to network in a relaxed atmosphere with Chief Pilots and other senior management from these and other organizations: Air Canada Jazz Pacific Coastal Central Mountain Air RCMP Harbour Air

WestJet Hawkair Helijet Canadian Forces Pilot Recruiting CHC Helicopter Corp.

Learn more through a panel discussion featuring the following speakers: Pat Kennedy Rick Zimmerman Kevin Hollands

Operations Manager, Pacific Flying Club. Supervisor, Flight Operations, Air Canada Jazz. Chief Pilot, Line Operations,WestJet.

Who should attend: • Aspiring pilots wanting more information on flying as a career. • Career pilots ready to move to the next level. • Licensed pilots looking for new career opportunities. Tickets available through the Ticketmaster charge-by-phone center (604.280.4444), at all Ticketmaster centres and online at Advance tickets:



For more information contact Tom Zeiser, Pegasus Presentations, *Ticket Agency fee in effect.


UPCOMING EVENTS Health & Travel Tips Fair March 12

Venue: Level 3 of the ITB, in front of the Haida Gwaii Time: 8:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. YVR’s Health Care Services will be hosting a Health and Travel Tips Fair on Friday, March 12, to provide health and travel information to airport visitors and employees. The Health and Travel Tips will feature educational booths from Pharmasave, Vancouver Airport Dental Centre, Vancouver Airport Medical Clinic, MDS Metro Laboratory Services, Absolute Spa at YVR and the BC Heart & Stroke Foundation. Visitors will receive free blood pressure testing, massages, product samples and valuable health information. There will also be lots of draw prizes.

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Government of Canada Announces Funding for Transportation-Related Councils he Honourable Jane Stewart, Minister of Human Resources Development has announced Government of Canada funding of $1,806,538 for projects related to the transportation industry, under the Sector Council Program. Recipients of the funding are the Canadian Aviation Maintenance Council (CAMC) ($965,575), the Canadian Trucking Human Resources Council


($240,145), and the Motor Carrier Passenger Council ($600,818). “The Government of Canada recognizes how important the transportation industry is to the country, both as a source of revenue and as a major employee,” said Minister Stewart. “To sustain employment growth in this key sector, the Government is helping the industry

address the human resources issues and other labour market issues affecting the industry. These new projects will help achieve this goal.” The CAMC will be using its funding for an aerospace manufacturing and maintenance manager and an electronic data management system project to better connect the Council to its partners and clients.

Venue: Best Western Richmond Inn Conference Centre, 7551 Westminster Hwy., Richmond, BC Time: 5:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. (Doors at 5:00 p.m.) Tickets: Tickets available through Ticketmaster Call 604-280-4444, visit or purchase from any Ticketmaster location. Price: $25.00 (incl. GST, Ticket agency fee in effect). Pegasus Presentations hosts the 2nd annual YVR Air Fair 2004. Following in the footsteps of two successful events held in 2003 in both Vancouver and Calgary, this is the annual event for pilots and others seeking to enter the aviation industry. In addition to receiving valuable industry updates, aspiring and current pilots have a chance to network informally with senior aviation staff and management including chief pilots, operations managers and more from many different airlines and organizations. For those who have recently entered or wish to enter the aviation and airline industry, meet those who have climbed the career ladder and are employed by the companies for which you’d like to work. Presentations will be made by: Kevin Hollands, Chief Pilot - Line Operations, WestJet Airlines - Career choices and what they do for us Rick Zimmerman, Supervisor - Flight Operations, Air Canada Jazz - The emerging role of pilots Pat Kennedy, Chief Operating Officer, Pacific Flying Club - Getting ahead in a not so down industry Participating Airlines & Organizations include: WestJet, Air Canada Jazz, Hawkair, Helijet, Canadian Armed Forces, Pacific Coastal Airlines, RCMP, KD Air, Selkirk Remote Sensing, Canadian Air-Crane, Harbour Air, CHC Helicopters International, Coastal Mountain Air, Omega Aviation, TK Air, WestEx and more. Sponsors: Air Side Cafe, Aviation World, BCIT, Canadian Armed Forces, Empire International Investment Corp, Heinz Repair Shop, Pilot Career Centre, Selkirk College and YVR Skytalk Newspaper.

11212591 4803

Air Fair 2004 (2nd annual) March 12



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Eco-Adventure Program a First For The Ritz-Carlton and Cousteau he Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, and Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ocean Futures Society (OFS) have announced a first-time partnership to create “The RitzKids Ambassadors of the Environment,” an environmental education and eco-adventure program, at the resort. “It would be impossible to overestimate our enthusiasm or the importance of this partnership,” said Jean Cohen, The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman’s vice president and general manager. “To work with absolutely the best organization in the field of environmental education and marine ecology is a tremendous honour. The result will be an outstanding enhancement to The Ritz-Carlton vacation


experience and a highly substantive program for young guests that is as enriching and memorable as it is thoroughly enjoyable.” The program will have two main components: a Learning Center for on-site activities and “eco-adventure” excursions. The Learning Center will introduce the young guests to the natural world of The Cayman Islands and serve as a model for sustainable living. In addition to multi-media presentations, the Center will offer such resources as video-microscopes, a mini-scientific lab, computers, an organic garden and a composting program. Using the living laboratory and natural classroom of reefs and man-

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Cuba to Host Conference on Sustainable Tourism Development

T Jean-Michel Cousteau, pictured in the waters off Grand Cayman, has a special fondness for and long-standing relationship with The Cayman Islands. His study of local marine life is the basis for the new “RitzKids Ambassadors of the Environment” program at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman.

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groves, aspiring marine biologists will have in-depth learning experiences impossible to obtain from a classroom or books. While still in the development stage, the program’s eco-adventures will introduce participants to a broader view of the Cayman Islands through such activities as hiking, kayaking and snorkeling, the enjoyment of a mangrove tree house and an elevated adventure trail, and exploration and field study of the islands’ flora and fauna. Each day’s programming will focus on a specific theme such as reef life, the man-

groves, terrestrial ecology and Cayman history and culture. One expected highlight is an uplink program for live video feeds from divers on the coral reefs to guests at the resort. It is also expected that overnight camping experiences will be developed once the Learning Center and the eco-adventures are up and running. Grand Cayman is located 500 miles south of Miami in the western Caribbean. It is served by American Airlines, Northwest Airlines, Continental Airlines, United Airlines and Delta Airlines.

Buying Your Travel Online?

Dedicated Sites Provide Strong Services By Dave Chalk f you spend a lot of time travelling like me, you know that travel expenses can add up, particularly if you find yourself in unfamiliar territory. That is why I use the Internet to make the experience as painless, and affordable, as possible. Like me, millions of consumers are poised to buy travel online in the coming months. Many sites allow you to not only search for the lowest airfares, but also book your hotel rooms and rental cars, while searching for vacation packages as well. Expedia ( and Travelocity (, for example, are two of the largest online travel agencies, and both have launched dedicated sites for busy Canadian travellers. Orbitz (, (, and familiar face Sears Travel ( have also started to provide strong online travel services for Canadian consumers. While you’re at it, be sure to have a look at individual airline sites. They often have special offers and extra frequent-flyer miles or loyalty points if you use their online reservation system. If you’re not sure exactly where you want to go, and you want unbiased opinions from people who have already visited the spot you’re interested in, check out ( Members



he Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) will hold this year’s sixth annual Caribbean Conference on Sustainable Tourism Development held at the Habana Libre Hotel in Havana from April 2730. “Cuba is an important Caribbean tourism destination and a valuable member of the Caribbean Tourism Organization and we are pleased that the Cuban government has agreed to host this important conference,” said Karen FordWarner, CTO’s deputy secretary general. This year’s conference theme is “Keeping the Right Balance: Land and Sea Encounters,” highlighting the impact of land- and sea-based activities on the sustainability of coastal areas and the resources necessary for sustainable tourism development.

of the site can create and post their own travel-related Web pages. That way you can browse through the Web pages and get firsthand knowledge of a specific locale, complete with photos and recommended hotels and restaurants. Also, check out the Lonely Planet online (, this venerable source of travel information has dispensed well-researched information written by experienced travellers for years. While you’re at their site, make sure to check out the Thorn Tree, a great place to post a question about a destination and get a response from your fellow travellers. There are lots of good reasons to go to an online travel site, but getting the lowest price is still the main reason most people do it. You’ll be surprised at some of the fares that you are able to find, especially if you are flexible and can take advantage of some of the last-minute deals that are offered. At the very least, these sites promise to make your next trip a little less stressful, a little more affordable, and a lot more rewarding. Dave Chalk is the host of Dave Chalk Connected Live, a live national technology program. Chalk Media also produces in-flight programming, including Dave Chalk Connected, produced for Air Canada, and Dave Chalk Tech Talk, produced for Delta Airlines.


The Travel Doctor –

A Guide to Staying Healthy our age, purpose for travelling, and underlying medical problems are all important when it comes to maintaining your health while away,” says Dr. Mark Wise, a Canadian doctor specializing in travel and tropical medicine and author of “The Travel Doctor.” “When we get sick at home, we have quick access to our family doctor and specialists, the local walk-in or emergency clinic, the latest technology, the Internet, and our mother. We speak the local language and understand the treatment we receive. In the middle of Borneo, everything is different, including the diseases you may have.” In his sweeping, common-sense guide, Dr. Wise tells travellers what to do before they leave, while they are away, and after they return home, all the while delivering up-to-date med-


ical information in easyto-understand style. “Doctors have a bad habit of speaking a language that no one else understands. Whenever possible, I add an intelligible explanation for any ‘medicalisms’ used,” says Dr. Wise. Divided into five sections, the book covers topics such as: the health risks at destinations, types of inoculations required, medicine and supplies to take, and if going to an exotic locale, how to cope with diarrhea, malaria, insect-borne diseases, and other issues. The Travel Doctor is published by Firefly Books and is available at bookstores, online at, or by calling 1-800-3876192.



Top 10 Hottest Honeymoon Spots Revealed oneymooners like it hot, when planning their post-nuptial celebrations that is, according to a recent nationwide survey conducted by In fact, all 10 of the most popular honeymoon spots are located in warmweather regions of the world. The “ Hottest Honeymoons Survey,” which polled TRAVELSAVERS Canada’s independent travel agencies nationwide, revealed the following as the top 10 picks for honeymoon travel destinations: 1. Jamaica 2. Hawaii 3. Cancun 4. Mayan Riviera 5. Cuba 6. St. Lucia 7. Puerto Vallarta 8. Cook Islands 9. Barbados 10. Disneyland


Jetsgo Makes Major Purchase from American Airlines Expands fleet with 18 Fokker 100s American Airlines Fokker 100 etsgo has announced the purchase of 18 Fokker 100s from American Airlines. These acquisitions will more than double the size of the airline’s fleet. “We will take delivery of the first seven planes immediately, with plans to have three in service by June 24,” said Jetsgo president, Michel Leblanc. “The balance is to be introduced every five weeks in Jetsgo’s we will maintain the same low seat schedule. The Fokker 100s have a mile cost, which is the best in the capacity of 105 seats and provide us Canadian industry. In addition, we with tremendous additional flexibil- get the benefit of having over half ity in meeting the discount travel our planes in the 100-seat range. needs of Canadians.” This is important for Jetsgo’s future The 18 Fokkers will join Jetsgo’s plans,” said Leblanc. “The purchase 14 MD-83s with their 160-seat of these first seven planes is being capacity, bringing the total fleet to paid from Jetsgo cash reserves.” 32 planes. The Fokkers operate with The Fokker 100 is a full-size jet a five-person crew and will provide offering the economies of a regional 650 additional jobs at Jetsgo once jet. It has a 2,250 km-range, allowthey are all in service, doubling ing it to fly existing Jetsgo routes Jetsgo’s employee count to 1,300. such as Montreal-Orlando, Toronto“Even though we are introducing Sydney and Toronto-Fort a second aircraft-type into our fleet, Lauderdale.

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New routes and deswill be tinations announced closer to the Fokkers’ first anticipated flights in June. The newly acquired Fokker 100s are certified for flight in Canada and operate with two Rolls Royce MK650-15 TAY engines, have a typical cruising speed of 797 km/h and a cruising altitude of 35,000 feet. The planes being acquired by Jetsgo were built between 1991 and 1993, complying with the highest noise standards and providing a quiet cabin. Fokker, one of the world’s oldest aircraft manufacturers, first began manufacturing planes in Germany in 1912. In 1922, Oakley Kelly and John McReady made history by flying an 11-seat Fokker F4 non-stop coast-to-coast across the United States. Amelia Earhart flew a Fokker plane in 1928 when she became the first woman to fly across the Atlantic.

“These destinations are also perfect for couples who are celebrating their anniversary, renewing their vows, or just looking to make some magic together on their next getaway,” said Cathie Lewis-Hardy, director of marketing and members services at TRAVELSAVERS Canada, an international marketing organization for travel agents. “Honeymoon Headquarters” have been set up at TRAVELSAVERS Canada travel agencies nationwide,

which are staffed with honeymoon and wedding travel specialists. To find their nearest agent, newlyweds can visit

Classic New Zealand Wine Trail a Great Holiday Route N ew Zealand has come into its own as a major wine and food destination in recent years, and the Classic New Zealand Wine Trail is a splendid way to explore its bounty. A 240-mile driving route that connects Hawke’s Bay, Wairarapa and Marlborough, the trail winds through the three regions that produce 70 per cent of superb wine and its best-known Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay varietals. Covering both North and South Island and the country’s top names on the culinary scene, the trail unfolds wine tastings and cooking class opportunities while providing an overview of each region’s produce and attractions. Best of all, the Classic New Zealand Wine trail is easily sliced and diced as a self-drive route or as a guided tour for small groups; to be covered in its entirety or in sections. Hawke’s Bay, known as the “fruit bowl” for its wealth of pitted-fruit orchards, is also the Chardonnay capital of New Zealand, anchored by the art deco town of Napier. Top vineyards in the region such as Craggy Range and Church Road conduct regular tastings and tours of the vineyards producing Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Gamay Noir a Jus Blanc, Cabernet Franc and Malbec. Three hours southwest of is tiny Bay Hawke’s Martinborough, which makes up for its lack of size with its massive Pinot Noirs. The cluster of more than 20 boutique vineyards produces an amazing variety of

wines including Coney Wines’ Pizzicato Pinot Noir and Rallentando Riesling; Murdoch James Estate’s Pinots and Cabernet Franc; Winslow Wine’s Cabernet Sauvignon; and Ata Rangi coveted 2001 Pinot Noir vintage. Many of the vineyards are in easy walking distance of each other. Alternatively, the Martinborough Wine Center is a one-stop shop with an extensive collection of Wairarapa’s best labels. A winding road southward and 90 minutes later is Wellington, New Zealand’s capital. Hemmed by a magnificent harbour, the downtown city is best explored on foot. From Wellington, it’s a threehour ferry ride to the South Island across the Cook Strait – sometimes escorted by Hector dolphins. The region of Marlborough is best known for its fruity Sauvignon Blanc. The heart of wine country in this region is Blenheim, also home to Johanneshof Cellars, the country’s first underground wine cellar that was blasted into a sandstone hill to mature wines at optimum temperatures. Other vineyards in the area include New Zealand’s best-recognized labels: Cloudy Bay, Villa Maria, Wairau River and Seresin Estate, a 100 per cent organic vineyard. For more information on the Classic New Zealand Wine Trail, visit: For information on New Zealand, log on to or call 1866-NEW ZEALAND (1-866639-9325).



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Love is ‘in the and Air’ On the Ground at YVR ancouver International Airport (YVR) might just be one of the most romantic places in British Columbia. With more than 14 million people travelling through each year and approximately five million more greeting and seeing off loved ones, the number of embraces, kisses and caresses that take place here qualifies YVR for the title. “Airport farewells and especially greetings can be pretty heart-warming for those of us who catch a glimpse,” says Christopher Gilliland, manager retail sales and service programs at YVR. “In fact, employees at ICE Currency Services at YVR are


rotated on a regular basis from its Departures location to its Arrivals location to balance the effect of watching the sometimes sad goodbyes with happy reunions.” With Cupid hard at work at YVR and Valentine’s Day just around the corner, The Merchants at YVR — which comprise over 140 shops, services and restaurants — are offering some romantic ideas for gifts and services at the airport, for those who want to make the most out of

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For the complete pampering experience, Absolute Spa at the Fairmont Vancouver Airport offers a variety of massages, manicures and pedicures. their down-time while waiting for their flights to depart. Prior to departure, couples planning a romantic getaway can conveniently spend the night at YVR’s fourstar, Fairmont Vancouver Airport.

Starting at $209 Cdn, the hotel is offering a ‘Romance Takes Flight’ Valentine’s special, which includes a luxurious room, complete with a soaker tub, long stem roses, chocolate covered strawberries and a certificate for a special return ‘anniversary’ rate of $99 Cdn. For the traditional romantic, floral bouquets are available at the Vancouver Airport Florist, while premium chocolates are available at Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory and Purdy’s Chocolates Retail Cart. International and U.S.-bound passengers can visit YVR’s Tax and Duty Free stores to choose from their top five selling frag r a n c e s : Chanel No. 5, Chanel Allure, Lancôme Miracle, Issey Miyake, and Estée Lauder Pleasures. For those who like to be pampered, Absolute Spa at the Fairmont

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is offering a couple’s escape package, which includes champagne, a 60minute relaxation massage, manicure, pedicure and use of the pool, whirlpool, and sauna. For those who like to do the pampering, such as preparing a romantic meal, Tastefully Canadian offers specialty food items such as crab, lobster or salmon pâté, cooking sauces, tea and ice wine chocolates. Some unique Valentine’s gift ideas from stores found at YVR include: Peller Estates Ice Wine gift package including three varieties for $89 from Connoisseur Shop; Rhodonite (love stone) candles for $19.99 to $28, hand-carved willow tree love angels for $13.49 to $32.99 and Dichroic glass jewellery from $15.99 to $51, all from B.C. & Beyond; 14 karat gold pendants with Canadian diamonds from $204 to $288, sterling silver rings by Northwest coast artists for $45 and up, or sandblasted wine glasses for $23.99 from Gifts of the Raven; Roots leather bracelets with rhinestone initials from $6 to $15 from Northern Impressions; Rose Quartz lamps for $48 or Northern Lights hanging crystal stones representing friendship, love or travel for $16.99 to $35, from Exploration; and romantic DVD movies such as “Down With Love” and “Two Weeks Notice” from InMotion Pictures for $34.99. In addition to shopping and dining, the art exhibits at YVR provide a potentially romantic diversion, as does watching planes landing and taking off at Flight Path Park located on Russ Baker Way just minutes from YVR’s terminals. Both activities are free and available 24 hours a day. The Merchants at Vancouver International Airport comprise over 140 pre- and post-security shops, services and restaurants, offering a full range of amenities from medical and dental services to banking, duty free shopping and the world’s first airport 7-Eleven. For more information, including a listing of YVR merchants, visit


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BCIT Partners With Leading U.S. Aeronautical University Joint Aviation Programs to be developed with Embry-Riddle University he British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) and EmbryRiddle Aeronautical University in the U.S. have signed a memorandum of understanding to develop joint academic aviation programs. Under the terms of the agreement, the institutions will cooperate on educational, research, and exchange programs. The primary areas of concentration include technological management, aviation business administration, and aircraft maintenance. BCIT’s polytechnic institution and Embry-Riddle University have agreed to an exchange of graduate and undergraduate students, an exchange of faculty and staff, cooperation on scientific and research programs, and collective work on distance learning initiatives. “Cooperative programs with leading international universities make each institution stronger,” said Dr. James Cunningham, Embry-Riddle assistant vice president of Academic Affairs. “We are proud to partner with BCIT in this exciting new venture.” The goal is to have an equal number of faculty and students participate in the exchange over the period of the agreement. To be eligible, students must have completed at least one year of undergraduate study, unless the host institution waives the time requirement. Exchange students will be registered at the host institu-

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The new aviation building at Embry-Riddle University’s Daytona Beach campus. tion for a maximum of one academic year. “Aerospace students will benefit greatly by being able to access the combined resources made possible by this agreement,” said BCIT president Dr. Tony Knowles. “This significant partnership will also serve to enhance the scope of research and learning opportunities available in the near future as BCIT’s new aerospace technology campus is developed.” BCIT Aerospace is the leading aviation training facility in Canada. The aerospace campus at Vancouver International Airport combines advanced training technology and industry experienced faculty to offer programs in aviation maintenance and repair. BCIT has provided

approximately 5,000 aerospace graduates with the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in the aviation field. Construction on a new 284,000-square-foot $65 million campus will begin later this year at Russ Baker Way on Sea Island, which will increase student capacity to 1,000 people from the current 320. Embry-Riddle, the world’s largest, fully accredited university specializing in aviation and aerospace, educates more than 28,000 students annually through the master level at residential campuses in Daytona Beach, Fla., and Prescott, Ariz., at more than 130 centres in the United States and Europe, and through distance learning.

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Vancouver Premiere of Lufthansa’s Airbus A340-600

The World’s Longest Passenger Jet ufthansa German Airlines has chosen Vancouver International Airport (YVR) as the first destination in its North American Network of stations to be served with the A340600, the latest and most modern air-


craft in its fleet. Earlier this month, the arrival at YVR of Flight LH492 from Frankfurt was celebrated with a gate party for crew and passengers, hosted by Horst Wizemann, Lufthansa regional sales manager.

The world’s longest passenger jet brings many innovations for passengers and crew alike. The distance between the nose landing gear and the main landing gear is 33 metres, and the pilots in the cockpit are seated seven metres ahead of the nose landing gear. The aircraft is so long that when turning on the taxiway the nose has to be pushed far forward in order to keep the wheels within the prescribed limits in the centre of the taxiway. As an aid, Airbus has installed two additional cameras – one at the rear on the vertical stabiliser and one at the front under the nose – so pilots can have the aircraft in sight. The camera images are transmitted to the

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cockpit so that the pilots can check their taxiing position. This ultra-long Airbus is fitted with much larger engines than its ‘little brothers,’ the A340-200 and –300 models. Even with its maximum weight of 375 tonnes, this stretched version reaches its cruising altitude just 30 minutes after take-off. The Rolls Royce Trent 500 engines with which the A340-600 is equipped are not only extremely powerful, but also immensely quiet. The benefits of the lower noise levels are evident both in the cabin and outside. Thanks to state-of-the-art engine technology and enhanced aerodynamics, the aircraft reduces the 85-dBA noise footprint, for example, to a mere 3.5 square kilometres. By comparison, a Boeing 747-200 has a noise footprint of 14.5 square kilometres. There are also several innovations for passengers. For example, in order to create more space, five Economy Class washrooms have been located on the lower deck, which passengers and crew reach via an 80-cm-wide staircase in the central section of the cabin. The improvements in Business

Class include a “PrivateBed” — a fully reclining sleeper seat that extends to a full two metres in length. This is the longest bed in its class and allows comfortable sleep on back or side. In an upright position, the Business Class seat pitch has been increased by 30 cm to a maximum of 150 cm. In its upright and fully reclined positions, the seat can be ergonomically adjusted to individual passenger requirements. At the press of a button, the integrated remote control panel, which can also be removed for ease of use, controls all the functions. These include the integrated massage function and the functions of the 10.4-inch monitor, which is four times larger than previous monitors. The A340-600 has also achieved top results in terms of fuel consumption, as it requires only 3.6 litres of fuel to fly one passenger 100 kilometres. By 2012, the airline aims to reduce average fuel consumption per passenger by 38 per cent in comparison to 1991. Today, Lufthansa jets consume just 4.5 litres of fuel per 100 passenger-kilometres, 27 per cent less than in 1991.

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The Seven Most Costly RSP Mistakes L


ast year at this time, the RSP topic your cash flow and eliminates the was about as popular as freezers in interest-free loan. Inuvik. Even mentioning the word 4) Spending the Big Tax Refund: “RSPs” at a cocktail party was This is for those folks who ignore enough to leave you sipping your point #3 above. I know that getting a drink alone in a corner. Fortunately, big cheque from anyone is generally a the markets have improved and peo- pleasant experience, but please resist ple are even reading their statements the temptation to blow the refund on a again. So, in that vein, I wish to share holiday or home renovations – the a few thoughts on the most common second most common tax-refund desRRSP mistakes: tinations. The best choice? Apply the money 1) Waiting Until the Deadline: When people make a last minute con- to your mortgage, line of credit, or tribution, there is very little planning savings. or strategy involved. The other prob5) Being Late to the Game: lem is that people often ‘park’ the Young investors are in an advantamoney in a low-yielding savings geous position, since they have the account — with the idea that they will power of time and compounding on make long-term investment alloca- their side. Consider the case of 20tions later. year-old Jim and 35-year-old Linda. The best choice? Set up an auto- They each save $200 month, but Jim matic monthly purchase plan to invest started saving at age 20 and Linda is every month. just starting. If they both earn eight 2) Contributing Too Much: Some per cent per year, and each save for 30 investors are so caught up in the zeal years, here is what they will have: to save that STARTS SAVING YEARS SIZE OF RSP they over-con- INVESTOR AT AGE 65 tribute. Many Jim age 20 30 $862,400 families have a Linda age 35 30 $271,800. spouse that works parttime, earning $30,000 to $40,000 per 6) Withdrawing Money: Resist at all year. In that case, it may not make cost the temptation to use your RSP sense to contribute the full amount. as a savings account or emergency Here’s an example: Rhonda fund. The government has made it Simms earned $36,000 last year. She easier to access your RSPs through has $7,000 to contribute (and RSP the RSP Home Buyer’s Plan and the room to match). However, she should Lifelong Learning Plan, but these NOT deduct the entire $7,000, and funds should only be accessed as an here’s why: Tax rates in Canada take absolute last resort. Though the funds a big jump at incomes over $32,000. may be repayed at a later date Rhonda is taxed at about 22 per cent (required over 15 years under both on the first $32,000 she earns, and plans), clients never catch up on the then is taxed at 32 per cent on the next lost earnings. In many cases, this can $4,000. If she contributes $7,000 to turn a “Jim” into a “Linda”. the RSP, the first $4,000 saves her tax 7) Investing the Funds in Last at that 32 per cent rate: 32 per cent x Year’s ‘Hot’ Fund: Success is 4,000 = $1,280 refund. The next appealing. Fund companies are very $3,000 saves her tax at the lower rate: good at advertising last year’s returns 22 per cent x $3,000 = $660. for their best performers, and those The best choice? She should con- ads usually show enticing returns. In tribute $7,000 now, deduct $4,000 for 1999/2000 it was tech and telecom 2003 and then carry-forward and funds. This year it is Precious Metals deduct the $3,000 difference on her funds. 2004 tax return. The best choice? Look instead for 3) Getting a Big Tax Refund: You funds with a good long-term track are wondering how on earth that and consistency. Funds that record could be called a mistake. Simple. If meet those criteria include Cundill you are getting a big tax refund, then Canadian Security, Cundill Value, Ivy you are giving the government an interest-free loan through the year. Canadian and Ivy Foreign Equity, Smart investors make monthly contri- Fidelity Canadian Disciplined Equity, butions to their RSP, and then apply to Fidelity Cdn. Balanced, and Trimark the government to have their payroll Select Growth and Trimark Cdn. withholding taxes reduced. Endeavor. The best choice? A simple letter to Peter Kutney is a Financial Planner Canada Customs and Revenue will with Equinox Financial Group in Vancouver. He can be reached at 604allow your employer to take less tax 438-1603 or from your paycheque. It improves

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Nanaimo Airport

Smithers Regional Airport

The Gateway to Vancouver Island Smithers Regional Airport is situated in the Bulkley Valley of northern British Columbia along Yellowhead Highway 16, approximately half way between the cities of Prince Rupert and Prince George. Smithers is a member municipality of the Bulkley Nechako Regional District. The Smithers Regional Airport serves nearby communities of Telkwa, Houston, Hazeltons, Kispiox Valley, Stewart, Granisle, Moricetown, Burns Lake and rural areas in between. The Airport has a catchment area of 45,000 people and is considered to be a regional service centre for the entire Bulkley Valley and offers a great variety of amenities.


ocated centrally on scenic Vancouver Island, the Nanaimo Airport is a thriving and modern air transportation gateway that offers an extensive range of amenities to the travelling public and aviation industry. ■ We have office space and counter space for airlines ■ We’re a designated Canadian port of entry so you can do direct stateside business ■ We have airside and groundside land available ■ We’re a not-for-profit entity, ready to work with you and your aspirations to achieve mutual success.


David Hunter, General Manager Tel:(250) 245-4191 Fax:(250) 245-4308

The airport is serviced by Hawkair and Air Canada who offer flights to Vancouver daily. Central Mountain Air offers flights to Terrace, Prince George, Kelowna, Kamloops and Abbotsford and Northern Thunderbird offers flights to Terrace and Dease Lake. There are also two helicopters companies, a tanker base for the B.C. Fire Service, a drilling, a construction, and a mining company on the airport premises.

Nanaimo Airport Commission PO Box 149, Cassidy, B.C. V0R 1H0 For leasing information call 250-847-3664 during office hours.


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