Where the does the Airport get its drinking water now, and how will it provide drinking water for expanded commercial uses?
The Nanaimo Airport uses groundwater as a drinking water source and holds a permit to operate a water supply system issued under the British Columbia Drinking Water Protection Act and Regulation. The current system is classified as a small drinking water system. Expansion of the water supply system would require a construction permit or waiver issued by the British Columbia Public Health Engineer under the Drinking Water Protection Act. The Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN) will require confirmation of a potable water connection prior to issuing building permits.
How will the Cassidy Aquifer be protected as the Nanaimo Airport grows?
The Cassidy Aquifer will be protected primarily through the BC Environmental Management Act that regulates the discharge of waste into groundwater and the BC Water Sustainability Act that manages withdrawal and use of groundwater.
New development at the Nanaimo Airport that increases wastewater flows will require a permit from the Province. The Environmental Management Act also has requirements for spill prevention and reporting and petroleum storage and distribution. Increased withdrawal of groundwater requires a license under the BC Water Sustainability Act.
I’m concerned about safety on the highway near the airport. With increased commercial development, will safety upgrades be required?
The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure advises further development at the Nanaimo Airport may require upgrades at the intersection of the Trans-Canada Highway and Spitfire Road, and a new second entrance to the south, as shown on the Nanaimo Airport Land Use Plan. The Nanaimo Airport Commission (NAC) will work with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure to plan access improvements and future access permits.
Where is the Coastal Vesper Sparrow Critical Habitat?
The Coastal Vesper Sparrow critical habitat is on land used for the runway and approach areas. It is within “Development Area A” in the proposed Zoning Bylaw amendment and does not overlap with the areas planned for future airport-related development.
How will the Coastal Vesper Sparrow habitat be protected as the Airport grows?
The Coastal Vesper Sparrow is a federally endangered species and a provincially red-listed species. Its critical habitat on the Nanaimo Airport lands is protected through the federal Migratory Birds Convention Act, the federal Species at Risk Act, and the provincial Wildlife Act. The breeding site was last used in 2014. The NAC is actively working with wildlife managers and the Garry Oak Ecosystem Recovery Team on vegetation management to steward the land. The NAC is required to continue to work with the Canadian Wildlife Service and the BC Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources Operations to protect the habitat.
I am opposed to increasing the number of flights and the size of aircraft at the Nanaimo Airport. If these bylaws are not adopted, will this prevent the Nanaimo Airport from growing their air traffic?
No. Aeronautics is under exclusive federal authority, so frequency of flights and size of aircraft cannot be regulated by the RDN.