WORLD ROUTES: Revving the Economic Engine at Kamloops Airport

A recent economic impact study reveals just how powerful the airport economic engine is for the Thomson Nicola region of British Columbia, a popular year-round tourism destination and a growing centre for educational excellence.

A recent study reveals the powerful impact of Kamloops Airport on the regional economy, highlighting the importance of good air connectivity.  The economic impact study reveals just how powerful the airport economic engine is for the Thomson Nicola region of British Columbia, a popular year-round tourism destination and a growing centre for educational excellence.

The report says Kamloops Airport’s operations generate the equivalent of 610 full-time jobs at the airport. That includes everyone from the operations gate scheduler and the mechanic that maintains aircraft safety to the server pouring cups of coffee and the ticket agent who’s helping book a passenger on an earlier flight. 

Together, these jobs account for almost $28 million in household income for the people of Kamloops, while an additional 210 service jobs in the tourism sector are supported by travellers holidaying at the award-winning Sun Peaks Ski Resort, playing a round or two of golf at one of Kamloops’ 13 courses – including Tobiano, one of Canada’s best new golf courses.

Kamloops pays $8.3 million in taxes to all levels of government. As with all Canadian airports, Kamloops does not receive government subsidies. In fact, Canadian airports pay rent to the federal government.  The network opportunities at Kamloops means 1,300 international students are enrolled at Thompson Rivers University, each leveraging Kamloops’ connectivity to get to and from school, and their ability to welcome visitors from home.

Over the last ten years, Kamloops Airport has increased the number of jobs at the airport by 34 per cent and the number of travellers by 80 per cent.  The economic impact study documents what is certainly a bright spot in the airport’s 75-year history. But according to Fred Legace, the airport’s Managing Director, it wasn’t full of surprises: “These findings confirm exactly what the community and our partners in tourism have been telling us for years: Kamloops Airport is vital hub driving our region’s economic engine.”

With strong tourism partnerships and expanding air service, Kamloops Airport is poised to become an increasingly important hub for British Columbia’s central region.  The airport is managed and operated by Vantage Airport Group under a long-term lease agreement.

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