March 15, 2012
Halifax Stanfield International Airport processed 29,263 metric tonnes of cargo in 2011 – up 2.8 per cent over 2010.
This increase was due to several factors. Two of the Airport’s major cargo carriers - FedEx and Cargojet - both upgraded their Halifax based fleet from B727 freighters to B757s offering increased capacity. Additionally, the Airport welcomed the return of Icelandair Cargo in December of 2011, which offers weekly B757 scheduled service from Halifax to Reykjavik, Iceland and on to Liege, Belgium.
As well, the Airport’s multi-tenant cargo facility was in operation for a full year in 2011, having opened in June 2010. The 40,000 square foot facility, operated by Gateway Facilities ULC, features 7,000 square feet of climate controlled space with direct airside access– ideal for shipping fresh lobster and seafood.
“Our air cargo business is a team effort,” says Jerry Staples, HIAA Vice President, Marketing and Business Development. “We work closely with our carriers, partners and shippers to develop and grow air cargo opportunities at Halifax Stanfield.
Cargo traffic is forecast to increase seven per cent in 2012. “We’re preparing for another year of cargo growth, with the completion of our extended runway by the first Quarter of 2013, which will make Halifax Stanfield even more attractive,” says Staples. “Our six cargo carriers (FedEx, Purolator, Cargojet, Icelandair Cargo, TNT and SkyLink Express) handled over 20,000 metric tonnes while the remaining 9,000 metric tonnes was transported on passenger flights.”
Construction to extend the Airport’s main runway began in the fall of 2011. By lengthening the runway from 8,800 to 10,500 feet, this will allow the airport to handle larger wide-bodied and heavy aircraft. It will also enhance the airport’s position as a key international air cargo and passenger hub. The $28 million project is being jointly funded by Halifax International Airport Authority, the federal government through Transport Canada’s Gateways and Border Crossings Fund, and the Province of Nova Scotia.