(Photo by Victoria International Airport via Facebook)

The public has spoken and the Victoria International Airport has answered. 

This week Vancouver Island’s most-used airport has announced a major $600 million expansion that will take place over the course of 20 years. 

In the new development plan, introduced every 10 years, Victoria International Airport is planning both east and west expansions, as well as adding more check-in booths and international arrival gates.

As of right now, the airfield operates three intersecting runways including, 03/21, 14/32 and 09/27. 

According to runway usage data from 2019, runway 09/27 is currently the most used lane for private and commercial flights.

(Chart by Victoria International Airport)

While the length of the runway for 09/27 is sustainable for inbound and outgoing flights in 2023, if the airport is to expand with more flight options in the future, the report says the airport would need necessary expansion to sustain more flights.

This expansion will also include additional taxiways around the new terminal with an expansion of remote parking positions used by the airplanes for de-icing of outbound aircraft. 

The additional taxiways will allow large aircraft the flexibility of a larger turning radius to help enhance airfield efficiency. 

History of the Victoria International Airport

The news of this large expansion comes after 93 years of service this airport has provided islanders. 

From the 1930s until now, the Victoria International Airport has come a long way. 

In 1930, a private airport owned by British Columbia Airways Ltd, located on the southeastern portion of Vancouver Island started the humble beginning of air services in Victoria. 

Before the establishment of the airport, air travel was only available via float plane.

By the 1940s, the airport was ready for use and the runways were reinforced and extended in 1942. During this time the airport accommodated the Royal Canadian Air Force, the Royal Air Force, and the Royal Canadian Navy.

Scheduled passenger service was launched in 1942 when the Department of National Defence granted Trans-Canada Airlines permission to use the airport for scheduled service to Vancouver.

By the mid-1950s the airport reached 77,000 aircraft movements and the seaplane base located to the west was relaunched. 

In 1959, the airport was renamed to the Victoria International Airport.

Following continued growth in the 1980s, the federal government began a process of devolving airports to local not-for-profit authorities in the 1990s.

By 1997, Transport Canada transferred YYJ to the Victoria Airport Authority (VAA) to operate under a 60 year lease with an option of a 20 year extension. 

As we head into 2023, what would you like to see incorporated into the Victoria International Airport through this extensive expansion?

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