The head of the Comox Valley Airport says more passengers are looking to start their journey on Vancouver Island, rather than driving to Vancouver or Seattle.

Passenger numbers at YQQ were up 5% in 2016.

CEO Fred Bigelow says many passengers are figuring out that it’s more convenient and often cheaper to fly directly from the island rather than taking the ferry.

He says one of the airport’s priorities for 2017 is improving those connections for passengers.

More than 368,000 passengers traveled through YQQ in 2016.