VANCOUVER ISLAND, Aug. 21, 2014 /CNW/ - The Comox Valley Airport (YQQ) reported a successful fiscal year with a 16 per cent increase in revenue over expenses and forecasted passenger growth of four to five per cent, with increased WestJet frequency planned for early 2015.
"Frankly we couldn't be more pleased with our current position," said Comox Valley Airport CEO Fred Bigelow at the airport's Annual Public Meeting. "With the removal of restrictions at YQQ, we have regained our position as one of the most reliable airports in the province. WestJet has demonstrated confidence in the market by adding additional capacity and we expect to see moderate growth as a result."
While revenues were $93,000 lower at the Comox Valley Airport in 2013/14, in part due to a decrease in its calendar year passenger numbers, the Airport Commission was able to reduce operating costs by more than $180,000, resulting in a $656,000 surplus to fund future infrastructure improvements.
"We are pleased with YQQ's financial performance in 2013/14 and we are confident it will continue to maintain a healthy financial position in the years ahead," said Frank van Gisbergen, Chair of the Comox Valley Airport Commission.
To help ensure passenger numbers rebound, the Comox Valley Airport detailed its plans to launch a marketing campaign aimed at informing passengers about the airport's reliability in advance of the 2014/15 winter travel season.
"We are targetting those passengers that may have experienced a delay or cancellation out of the Comox Valley Airport, owing to the landing restrictions that were once placed on YQQ," explained Fred Bigelow. "Thankfully, this is no longer an issue and we want to reassure our passengers that they will be well-served by our airport at any time of the year."
The Commission also noted that 2014 marked the tenth anniversary of the opening of the Comox Valley Airport's terminal building. On April 16, 2004, the Comox Valley Airport Commission opened the doors to a brand new facility and made the transition to the full service, modern airport that now accommodates hundreds of thousands of passengers per year. In the ten years that followed, annual traffic at the airport grew by 68 per cent with approximately 2.8 million passengers making YQQ part of their journey
"We are grateful for the community support that made the construction of our terminal building possible," said Frank van Gisbergen. "This building is standing today because of contributions made by so many committed individuals, including the dedicated CVAC staff and Board of Directors at the time, 19 Wing Comox, local governments and the taxpayers of the Comox Valley."
To thank the community for their support, the Comox Valley Airport Commission held a terminal anniversary celebration following the public meeting. Special guests included Edwin Grieve, Chair of the Comox Valley Regional District, the Honourable Don McRae, MLA for the Comox Valley and the Honourable John Duncan, Member of Parliament for Vancouver Island North.
Further details on YQQ's goals, objectives and achievements can be found in the 2014 Accountability Report posted on the Comox Valley Airport's Website at: www.comoxairport.com under About Us/Publications.
About the Comox Valley Airport
The Comox Valley Airport (YQQ) is an economic driver for Northern Vancouver Island, supporting about 193 direct jobs including airlines, airport management, security, food and beverage, retail and ground transportation. The airport and tourism business community together generate $367 million in Gross Domestic Product and $701 million in direct economic output for the community. YQQ is operated by the Comox Valley Airport Commission, which was established in 1996 as a non-share capital and not-for-profit organization to operate the civil aviation facilities, including the terminal and apron at YQQ. The airfield and its associated systems, including air traffic control, are operated by the Royal Canadian Air Force at 19 Wing Comox on a continuous 24-hour basis.
SOURCE: Comox Valley Airport
For further information: Christianne Wile, Comox Valley Airport, Phone: 250-890-0829 ext.253, [email protected]