Halifax airport added $1.2 billion to economy last year

Posted on 24. Oct, 2012 by in News

The value of Halifax Stanfield International Airport as a Nova Scotia asset increased by about $11 million to a total of $1.26 billion in 2011, says the facility’s operator.

An economic impact report released Tuesday by Halifax International Airport Authority said the airport and its partners had tremendous impact last year on Halifax and the province as an economic generator and growth creator.

“Even in the face of global economic challenges, Halifax Stanfield continues to play an important role as an employer and contributor to the Nova Scotia economy,” Tom Ruth, authority president and chief executive officer, said in a news release.

Among other things, the report said there were an equivalent of 5,260 full-time jobs linked directly to the airport in 2011.

“About two-thirds of airport community workers live in rural areas of Nova Scotia, and their total wages and salaries amount to over $325 million,” Ruth said.

Major employers include IMP Group, Air Canada and Jazz, all of whom provide the equivalent of 2,096 full-time jobs, about 40 per cent of the airport workforce.

The airport’s 2011 economic impact study shows the facility’s $1.26 billion value as an asset is based on gross output generated by airlines, air freight firms, retailers and other companies involved directly or indirectly with the air transportation industry.

Joyce Carter, authority chief financial officer, said a multi-tenant cargo facility completed in 2010 added to airport freight volume, reflecting increased business by several facility companies.

“This facility certainly played into the overall increase in economic activity generated at the airport,” Carter said in an interview.

The cargo facility of about 40,000 square feet, operated by Gateway Facilities, includes about 7,000 square feet of climate-controlled space that has been utilized extensively by seafood shippers, she said.

And the future looks bright.

“A major runway extension to be operational later this year, and completed next year, will contribute to our future growth projections,” Carter said.

Increased economic activity in future at the airport will also be boosted with the addition of a $30-million, 14-storey hotel scheduled to open next year.

According to the report, which was conducted by Chris Lowe Planning and Management Group, total wages and salaries at the airport added $480.6 million to the provincial economy.

“Airport employees contributed $57.7 million in personal income tax to the province and $25.3 million in retail sales tax,” the report said.

From 2010 to 2011, it said, about 34 per cent of all provincial tourists arrived by air.

“Visitation by air grew by nine per cent — one of the few modes of transportation to show an increase.”

October 23, 2012 – 11:42am By BILL POWER Business Reporter, Chronicle Herald

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