Comox Valley Airport. File photo

Comox Valley Airport in ‘good stead to weather the financial turbulence’ from COVID-19

CVAC released accountability report following its annual public meeting

Despite the impact of COVID-19 on the aviation industry, the Comox Valley Airport Commission ended its fiscal year in a secure financial position.

That’s according to its recently-released Accountability Report which followed the annual public meeting held (digitally) June 24.

The report stated that the Comox Valley Airport’s financial position has “positive net cash flow and zero debt. This stands us in good stead to weather the financial turbulence created by the pandemic.”

The total surplus within the 2019/2020 year sat at $1,012,667, down from the 2018/2019 surplus of $2,223,790. The report notes the surplus reduction is due to a write-down following the revised market appraisal of an adjacent lot.

RELATED: More flights slowly set to take off at Comox Airport

The fiscal year, which ended March 31, 2020, saw near-record passenger volume with more than 396,000 passengers using YQQ.

The impact of the grounding of Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft in early 2019 resulted in a loss of fleet capacity for both WestJet and Air Canada, however, CVAC retained the routes served and flight frequency.

In November, CEO Fred Bigelow took long-term leave for health reasons and the commission is led by acting CEO Alex Robertson and CVAC chair Martin Crilly.

In terms of the impact of COVID-19 on YQQ specifically, the report indicates the commission was prepared and invoked its own emergency plan while acting promptly to protect passengers, employees and the public with new operating protocols and procedures. The airport remains open with limited flights to support essential and humanitarian travel.

Some of the capital expenditures incurred throughout the previous year include an HVAC system compressor replacement; apron assessment; increased seating and tables, eco-flex walkways in gravel lots and a public bike station.

The report identified four goals for YQQ: air service; maintaining a viable master plan; remain financially viable and competitive and attract and retain employees.

One of the goals within the master plan is to initiate a review utilizing lessons from COVID-19.

Currently, WestJet and Pacific Coastal airlines are operating on reduced flight schedules from the airport. For more information, visit comoxairport.com

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