As a retail planner with a niche specialty in non-aeronautical revenue planning for international airports worldwide, I must congratulate the VAA on achieving 67 per cent in non-aeronautical revenue.
Not only will this put them in the top 10 per cent of North American airports but also in the top 10 per cent of all international airports.
Victoria’s 67 per cent compares extremely well with Toronto’s measly 30 per cent, which, as a result, is one of the most expensive airports for air carriers in the world.
I do agree that VAA should not rest on its laurels on trying to increase its non-aeronautical revenue.
However, I do hope that they will not agree with Sidney Mayor Larry Cross and his enthusiastic support group for their proposed +/- 100,000 sq. ft. “Gateway Shopping Centre” on Beacon Avenue west of the Pat Bay Highway.
Such major competition to an already weak downtown Sidney core, which is currently already under threat from +/- 800,000 sq. ft. of competition from the proposed Jesken Town Centre and Sandown Commons shopping centres, could well result in the demise of Sidney as a unique destination.
It is possible we could see downtown Sidney’s commercial core being reduced in size by +/- 50 per cent if these projects were to be successful.