Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Airport survey highlights importance of airport to community for respondents; local businesses say they will adapt to current situation

YPR's entry to the apron at Digby Island

The Prince Rupert Chamber of Commerce has released the data compiled from their recent online survey, receiving over 350 responses to their questionnaire that was created following the suspension of Air Canada service earlier this month.

As we outlined on January 15th, the online consultation explored a range of themes related to air travel to and from Prince Rupert.

The highlights from the community pulse taking noted by the Chamber included a look at airport usage in the community, which observed of a significant decline in the volume of air travel in the community during the last year of COVID, compared to the results found in the period previous to March 2020.

When it comes to personal trips, during the last year 66 percent of those who replied said they had not used the Prince Rupert Airport

Previous to COVID 41 percent of the respondent noted that they had not used the airport in the last 12 months.

Business travel has taken the largest hit from COVID, with 83 recent of respondents noting that they have not flown out of Prince Rupert on business, pre covid 50 recent of the respondent noted that had not used YPR.

The breakdown on travel is further explored below:

Two key questions provided a snapshot of how the community views the airport and the suspension of air service to and from it.

The first noting that a large number of those who replied, 73.6 percent believe it's important to have an airport in the community, while ten  percent of the survey participants did not feel having access to a local airport was important.

When it comes to the discontinuation of services currently in place and how it will impact on local business,  39 percent of business owners stated that the closure would have a low impact on their operations, while 27 percent view the suspension of service as having a high impact.

The results also outlined how respondents view the current suspension of service and how it will most have an effect on their day to day experiences.

The key concerns of respondents focused on road conditions and the sense of isolation that the suspension of air service will bring, with impact on local economy, lost revenue to the Terrace airport and concerns over how the suspended service will impact on area medical requirements all claiming some of the survey findings.

A link to the Chamber's full overview on the airport survey is expected to be posted to their Facebook page later today.

For a look back at the suspension of service and other themes on aviation see our archive page here.

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