Nanaimo Airports

Airports in Nanaimo

Ever bite into a chocolaty, creamy sweet Nanaimo Bar? This second largest city on the east coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, is where these delightful treats were born. Add to that delectable sweetness a scenic coastline with orcas dancing offshore and eagles soaring in the wind and you have a memorable vacation spot. Flying into Nanaimo means landing at Nanaimo Airport (YCD), or at the downtown Nanaimo Harbour Water Airport (ZNA).

Skyscanner can help you find the cheapest airfare and the best routing to either of airports. If you are flexible with your dates, sometimes even only by a day or two, you can often save money. The Whole Month Search screen makes it easy to compare rates and select the cheapest days to fly. Pick your dates, click over to the flight screen and choose the itinerary that suits you. Use the handy hotel and rental car screens to book the rest of your trip. Then it's off to the land of incredible vistas, and of course, those memorable Nanaimo bars.

Nanaimo Airport (YCD)

The Nanaimo Airport, roughly 14 kilometres south of the city, is only a 15-minute drive. Abbotsford, Calgary, Comox, Vancouver and Victoria all have direct flights, while one- and two-stop air service is available from many more cities across Canada. Air Canada, Air Canada Express, WestJet and WestJet Encore are the primary carriers. The expanded runway allows Nanaimo to handle 737 jets, but some carriers operate turbo props into this smaller airport. Things can get busy during the summer tourist season.

The single air terminal is named for Raymond Collishaw, a Nanaimo native who was a World War I flying ace. Operating hours are from 4:00 am until midnight, or until the last plane touches down. A café, sundry store and an ATM are in the combined arrival/departure lounge on the post-security side of the terminal. Wi-Fi is free. Rental car desks are in a dedicated area next to baggage claim, with an exit leading to the rental car lot right outside. That rental car is the best way to get around Nanaimo and the rest of Vancouver Island.

Outside the main arrival doors you'll find the taxi stand. Rates are metered. An average fare into downtown Nanaimo runs about $40 CAD. The Nanaimo Airport Shuttle stop is outside the same doors. The shuttles are usually outside when a flight is due in. The rate to downtown Nanaimo is $26 CAD for up to two people going to the same location.

Nanaimo Harbour Water Airport (ZNA)

Nanaimo Harbour Water Airport is in downtown Nanaimo, within walking distance to many parts of the city. Flying into this airport means you get the excitement of splashing down offshore and then motoring over to the seaplane dock. Direct flights are available from Sechelt (YHS) and Vancouver (YVR). In Vancouver, the seaplane terminal, operated by Harbour Air, is next to Vancouver International's South Terminal. Complimentary shuttle service is available from both terminals. If a shuttle is not parked in its assigned area, use a courtesy phone to order one. The ride usually takes between five to ten minutes.

Harbour Air also manages the seaplane port in Nanaimo. You arrive at the Pioneer Waterfront Plaza, close to the Lighthouse Bistro. The dock leads you to a small terminal where you pick-up checked baggage. Seaplanes have limited luggage space, so it's best to travel light. Most planes usually have 18 seats or less. Many of the hotels are within a few minutes walk, but you'll find a rental car desk and a taxi stand outside. Taxis are metered, charging an initial flag fee of $3.15 CAD plus $2.18 CAD per kilometre. Some hotels provide free shuttle service.

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