Abbotsford airport sees steady growth, set to save for the future

2013 net income will likely be $2 million, money being put in reserves for future development

The Abbotsford International Airport is on schedule to net nearly $2 million this year.

The Abbotsford International Airport is on schedule to net nearly $2 million this year.

The Abbotsford International Airport’s revenues are higher than projected this year, up to September, putting the airport on schedule to net $2 million in 2013.

The airport’s financial performance report was presented to city council on Monday for review. Mike Pastro, the airport’s general manager, said he is pleased with this year’s performance.

“We’re a very profitable organization. Our original mandate was that we should not be a burden on taxpayers… and I think we’ve more than accomplished that.”

The airport is owned by the City of Abbotsford, while the management and operation is overseen by the Abbotsford Airport Authority.

The airport is proposing a “conservative” budget for 2014, assuming the airport will not see significant growth in the next few years or an expansion of service.

The proposed 10-year capital plan is also conservative, which Pastro said is to build up funds for the future.

“We’re going to be accumulating a strong reserve balance, which is going to be used for future growth opportunities and rehabilitation projects at the airport.”

The airport is also planning to see little passenger growth, as its main commercial carrier WestJet has no plans to increase service at the airport.

“At this point we don’t have any concrete indication from any of the carriers that there is going to be an increase in flights.”

Currently, the airport is maintaining a steady level of about 500,000 passengers a year.

Pastro said the aerospace- and aviation-related companies based at the airport – such as Cascade Aerospace, Conair Aviation and Chinook Helicopters – are also a boost to the airport and the local economy as they continue to expand their operations.

“It’s a partnership. The better they do, we do, and we really believe that going forward, much of the growth is going to come from within.”

Pastro said that the airport not only contributes as an economic generator for the Abbotsford region by providing jobs for 1,500 employees, but the airport also makes a direct contribution of $200,000 to the city.

 

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