January News
Air Passenger Growth Records in 2017

Record numbers of passengers frequented Canada's airports last year, up 6.3 per cent compared to the previous year. Growth in the number of international passengers was even higher, at 9.8 per cent.

While large airports including Montreal-Trudeau (9.3 per cent), Vancouver International Airport (8.3 per cent), and Toronto Pearson (6.3 per cent) experienced growth, the John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport led all airports with 80 per cent growth, from about 333,000 passengers in 2016 to over 599,000 in 2017.

"This is an exciting time for Hamilton International as more passengers discover the ease and convenience of travelling from Hamilton" said Cathie Puckering, acting president and chief executive officer of the John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport. "The passengers are originating from Hamilton and surrounding areas including Toronto and beyond thanks to the wide variety of destinations being served from Hamilton."

The Hamilton International invested almost $5 million to improve and upgrade facilities to accommodate this growth, such as a new covered and heated international walkway, improved and convenient vehicle parking pay stations, rehabilitation of the roadways and runways and a renovated Duty-Free location. 
But while airports and air carriers have made significant investments in their  infrastructure and fleets, federal funding for security screening and border services have not kept pace with passenger demand, which is continuing to result in long wait times for travellers.

This has raised concerns for the National Roundtable on Trade and Tourism (NRTT), which includes the CAC, the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC), the National Airlines Council of Canada (NACC), the Hotel Association of Canada (HAC) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

The NRTT has recently done an opinion editorial highlighting the improvements needed to keep people and goods moving more efficiently, because it is essential to business and trade flow. The editorial pointed to the lack of funding the Canadian Air Transport Security (CATSA) receives from the federal government to maintain a target of processing 85 per cent of travellers in 15 minutes or less.

Structural reforms are needed to the delivery and funding of security screening. CATSA Plus screening technology at additional checkpoints should also be expedited. Resources and technology for border services also need to keep pace.

With traffic expected to increase by more than 50 per cent over the next decade, the government should act soon so that Canada's airports can continue to provide efficient air transportation services and facilitate the productivity and competitiveness of Canadians and businesses throughout the country.   

NRTT Opinion Editorial on National Newswatch
Vancouver International Airport Signs Historic Agreement to Promote Tourism and Trade

The Vancouver Airport Authority (YVR) and Destination Canada signed a Memorandum of Understanding on January 18th to strengthen the relationship between the two organizations and to align strategic priorities in air service development, tourism and business opportunities throughout Canada.

"This agreement is great news for Canadian tourism," said Bardish Chagger, minister of Small Business and Tourism and Leader of the Government in the House of Commons. "This agreement will help bring more tourists to experience all of the great sights and activities our country has become known for around the world. It lays the foundation for what will be another strong year for our industry and partners, as we celebrate the 2018 Canada-China Year of Tourism."
Vancouver International Airport

The purpose of the agreement is to enhance the airport authority and Destination Canada's approaches to increasing tourism and maximizing the impact of resources. It encourages both organizations to share knowledge, expertise and market intelligence to support each other in reaching their goals.

"As the gateway for 25 per cent of all international travellers to Canada, YVR is an important partner for Canada's tourism industry and we're looking forward to expanding that partnership," said David F. Goldstein, president and chief executive officer of Destination Canada. "Under this important agreement we will align our marketing and share our research and data insights for a competitive advantage."

In 2016, the airport authority partnered with a number of tourism partners, including Destination Canada, to create a "Team YVR" approach to better support new and existing airline partners. The Memorandum of Understanding builds on this partnership, further improving the airport authority's overall aviation business. It also strengthens the Canadian economy, with every new flight creating new jobs.

"We are very excited about this agreement with Destination Canada which allows us to strategically align our priorities in target markets to benefit not only YVR but also our airline partners," said Craig Richmond, president and chief executive officer of the Vancouver Airport Authority. "This is the first agreement of its kind in Canada and complements our Team YVR concept perfectly. Being able to approach airlines with our tourism partners provides them with the necessary support to launch new services, allowing us to continue building YVR as a world-class hub while supporting the economies of British Columbia and Canada."

Victoria International Airport Facilitates Economic Growth

A recently released economic impact study conducted by InterVISTAS shows that the Victoria International Airport generated 4,700 jobs and $880 million in economic output, which is a significant jump from the last economic impact study that was done in 2005. At that time, the airport generated $441 million in economic output and 2,920 full time equivalents.
Victoria International Airport

"It is no surprise the overall increase in economic impact, given the growth in passenger numbers at the airport which have almost doubled since then, and the increase in the number of businesses that have chosen to operate on the airport property," said Geoff Dickson, president and chief executive officer of the Victoria Airport Authority.



The airport authority generates employment in sectors such as air service facilities, hospitality, manufacturing and ground transport. Airport employers and employees  generated about $81 million in taxes to all levels of government in 2017. 
Geoff Dixon
Geoff Dickson

Beyon t he direct, i ndirect and induced economic impacts, the airport also facilitates employment and economic development in the regional economy through increased trade, attracting new businesses to the region and encouraging investment.

"Intuitively people understand the importance of an airport to the loc al community, but not necessarily the actual economic impact.  We wanted to quantify the annual dollar amount, and when you see numbers approaching one billion dollars in annual impact, it drives home the importance of a vibrant and growing airport," added Dickson.


Saint John Airport Becomes the First Airport in Canada to Install Public EpiPen Auto-Injectors

The Saint John Airport has recently installed an EpiPen Auto-Injector cabinet, and trained its first responder staff to administer auto-injectors if an emergency occurs.

"Every year more than 260,000 passengers travel through our airport and their safety is important to us," said Derrick Stanford, president and chief executive officer of the Saint John Airport. "Having this device on site could save a life should anyone experience a severe allergic reaction."
Chris Penney, safety and emergency response supervisor at the Saint John Airport

An EpiPen auto-injector is used to deliver an emergency treatment of adrenaline to people who are at risk or have a history of life-threatening allergic reactions.

An alarmed wall cabinet was installed, which contains one adult and one child dose of epinephrine auto injectors.

"I'm pleased that the Saint John Airport has recognized the importance of having publicly available epinephrine auto injectors in a highly visible, accessible and centrally located area," said Kelly Dunfield, founder and president of Be Ready Health Care. "Our goal is for no person to suffer fatal anaphylaxis. Many people either do not fill their prescription or do not carry their EpiPen with them. Some people don't even know they have an allergy."  
In addition, to installing the EpiPen Auto-Injector cabinet, the airport has made other improvements to enhance user-experience by replacing all three of its departures, arrivals and main entrances, as well as all of the concrete curbing and pay stations, among other improvements.

Last year was a record-breaking year for the airport, with 263,719 passengers, a 5.2 per cent increase from the previous year. Stanford estimates the number of air travellers will reach 300,000 this year. 
In Other News...

Edmonton Airport Announces 2018 Board of Directors

The Edmonton Airport Authority announced a number of changes to its Board of Directors. They include:  
  • Naseem Bashir, board chair
  • Christopher Burrows, senior vice president and chief financial officer of AutoCanada Inc.
  • Douglas A. Horner, chair of the Canada Asia Synergy Group
  • Carman R. McNary, partner for the Edmonton Office of Dentons Canada  
As a financially independent, not-for-profit corporation, the Edmonton Airports Board members reflect some of the Edmonton Metro Region`s strongest leaders to oversee the organization's strategic direction, with operating earning revenues of more than $200 million annually and serving almost eight million passengers. Edmonton Airports is a strong economic leader, delivering a total regional economic impact of $2.2 billion annually.

Victoria Airport Authority Announces New Directors, Board Executive

The Victoria Airport Authority announced a number of changes to its Board of Directors in January. The executives for 2018 are:
  • Eric J. Donald, board chair
  • Gordon Safarik, board vice-chair and chair of the Airport Consultative Committee
  • Marilyn Loveless, board secretary and chair, Governance Committee
  • Cathie Ounsted, chair of the Audit and Finance Committee
  • Rod Dewar, chair of the Planning and Development Committee
The airport authority also welcomes two new board members, effective January 1st, 2018. They are:
  • Brenda Nunns Shoemaker, who represents the District of North Saanich
  • Charles Lovallo, who represents the Town of Sidney 
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