Friday , 21 July 2017

Transportation Issues Discussed at Economic Summit

tofino airport

Plans to improve the island’s transportation are being updated at the Economic Summit starting today, Oct. 28 at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre.

The summit, hosted by the Vancouver Island Economic Alliance, is providing an update on the island’s Intermodal Transportation Initiative to focus on how to turn an economic liability (Island location) into a strategic advantage.

In March, VIEA produced a video showcasing transportation initiatives on Vancouver Island (View the 13-minute video ‘Moving Forward’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sHnfcygmb0&feature=youtu.be .) with 16 key transportation stakeholders and hosted a sold-out forum on the topic in Victoria.

“What’s happening at the summit is that some of those initiatives have moved forward significantly since March,” says VIEA president George Hanson.

This panel will report on progress being realized on some of these ambitious transportation projects which include improving the Tofino airport, improving the Alberni Highway as well as improving access between the ferry system and other transportation links.

“With all the fog in Tofino, they have lots and lots of flights that get cancelled,” says Hanson. “We had the same problem here in Nanaimo as so many flights were cancelled.”
When the Nanaimo airport got improved landing instruments, less flights were cancelled. The same approach is being taken with the Tofino airport so more flights can bring in more tourists, says Hanson.

Improvements to the Alberni Highway are being looked at as well as moving more cargo through the airports and increasing container shipping through Port Alberni.

The island’s transportation initiatives are being considered together to increase confidence in business and improve the economy.

“The summit looks at transportation from how does our connectivity or lack of connectivity affect our economy,” says Hanson. “So how can we take transportation, which has been an economic liability, and improve it.”

Other transportation related sessions at the Summit include a presentation on the cruise Industry at 2:30pm (Post-Summit) Thursday, October 29.