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insideairportThe three part upgrade of Nanaimo Airport that is to take place from 2007 to 2018 will not only bring new economic opportunities to the island, it also means that there will be more flight options for those traveling to and from Nanaimo. As part of the project the runway at the airport will be lengthened by 480 meters, so that larger planes can make use of the airport. Additionally, the installation of high-intensity lighting on the runway will mean that incoming planes can land in more inclement weather, making for better reliability of flights. There are also plans to upgrade the landing instrumentation so that incoming planes have more direct access to the runway. Improvements to roadways and parking mean better access for travellers and their vehicles, while an expansion to the terminal itself will give Nanaimo Airport a more metropolitan feel. All these changes combined are sure to make Nanaimo a bigger, better tourist attraction while at the same time make it easier for residents to travel to and from the island. Once completed, those travelling to and from Nanaimo will have more direct access to long-haul flights without having to transfer planes in Vancouver. Not only does this make travel more convenient, it also cuts costs for travellers, meaning that tourists coming to Nanaimo have more to spend on accommodations, meals, artwork and more. Likewise, those who are leaving the island to visit elsewhere can fly farther and faster than ever before. The first stage of the Nanaimo Airport expansion is scheduled to complete in the fall of 2009, meaning that residents and tourists are just a few months away from being able to take advantage of increase travel and tourism opportunities in Nanaimo and the rest of the world. There is great hope that a chunk of the upgrades will be completed before February 2010 so that Nanaimo, and Vancouver Island as a whole, can take advantage of the influx of international travellers who are coming to British Columbia for the 2010 Olympics.