Airports as Catalysts for Economic Development

Mar 4, 2019

BCAC Presents at BC Economic Development Association’s Economic Summit

As business markets become national and international in scale, airports are increasingly being viewed as catalysts for local economic development and tools of urban renewal. As such, their ability to generate jobs and attract new business is being used in many locations as a justification for public investments in new airport construction and expansion. What are the critical success factors, framework and capabilities needed from airports to effectively serve their regions and become competitive in the global economy?  What challenges do regional airlines face and how might this impact the ability for growth and add to potential new opportunities to pursue?

Dave Frank, our Executive Director, shared the panel with Beth Veenkamp, Economic Development Officer Williams Lake; Kevin Boothroyd, Director Business Development Pacific Coastal Airlines; and, Rob Beynon, President Operations Economics Inc.

Communities have limited resources and must work together as a Team: economic development, tourism, airports, in partnership with air services and other airport users. For example, most communities would bend over backwards to attract a post-secondary education operation yet they often take for granted the 38 Flight Training Schools that are in communities throughout the province.

One of the challenges faced by the industry – human resource needs from customer service agents through to VP Finance – received a lot of discussion. Pacific Coastal is cancelling flights on an almost “daily” basis to remote communities due to a critical lack of pilots. They are working with Pacific Flying Club at Boundary Bay Airport to try to partially address this situation.

Judging from the number of well thought out questions and attendees coming up afterwards, the panel was very successful in getting their messages across.

Dave’s presentation is at BCAC BCEDA Economic Summit. Comments are welcome. The BCAC is always working to improve its messaging for its members.

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