Seaplane Operations

Seaplane TerminalThe Nanaimo Port Authority, local seaplane operators and members of the public developed recommendations regarding seaplane operations in the Harbour.

The Port operates two water aerodromes. Area “A” is in the inner harbour adjacent to the W.E. Mills Landing and Area “B” is in Departure Bay adjacent to the BC Ferry Departure Bay Terminal.

Excerpt from Nanaimo Port Authority Practices and Procedures – May 7-2009

  • 4.8.1 There are two designated water aerodromes in the harbour, “Area A” and “Area B” located as follows:
    1. “Area A” is located within Nanaimo Inner Harbour as defined on Canadian Hydrographic Services Chart 3447; and
    2. “Area B” is located in Departure Bay with boundaries as defined on the aforesaid Chart 3447 with the southern extremity in a line with Shaft Point and the northern extremity in a line with Tyne Point.
  • 4.8.2 Unless prior written approval has been obtained from the Authority, no seaplane shall takeoff, land or step taxi in any area of the harbour except “Area A” or “Area B”.
  • 4.8.3 A seaplane on the water in the harbour shall comply with the applicable provisions of the Collision Regulations, as amended.

For boating safety, aircraft operated strobe lights have been installed. One is on the Central Breakwater next to the W.E. Mills Landing and covers Area “A”, the other is set on top of a piling at the north entrance to Newcastle Island Channel.

Each strobe light operates independently and when flashing indicates that an aircraft is preparing for take-off or landing in the applicable water aerodrome.