Editor: I have sent the following letter to Transportation Minister Mary Polak:
On behalf of the B.C. Aviation Council, I would like to commend you and your government on the Aviation Strategy for B.C. you announced on Dec. 21, and your commitment to the aviation and aerospace sector in this province.
While we do not have comprehensive economic impact numbers for the sector as a whole,we know that aviation is vital to the health of the province. For example,every year B.C.’s airports serve 22 million passengers and support 31,000 direct jobs — with thousands more indirect jobs generated in multiple other sectors.
Vancouver International Airport alone generates $5.3 billion in total revenue annually, and people employed at YVR receive $1 billion in annual wages. With a network of 290 land-based airports and aerodromes, heliports and water aerodromes, it is clear that the aviation and aerospace industry has an enormous role to play in the economy and growth of British Columbia.
We know British Columbians like to fly: 42 per cent of B.C. households report buying airline tickets every year, compared to 29 per cent nationally. The industry also fuels tourism and innovation and allows the province to connect to the world for business and leisure.
Aviation education, maintenance and technology are also important aspects of our industry. BCIT operates the largest aerospace technology school in Canada,providing British Columbia with the opportunity to be a worldwide centre of excellence for aviation.
For 75 years, the BC Aviation Council has represented and advocated for the industry, and we look forward to working with you and your ministry in building a future based on our proud aviation heritage.
Mark Duncan, chair,
BC Aviation Council