Hamilton airport getting cargo upgrade

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by Emily Atkins

The John C. Munro international airport in Hamilton, Ontario, is expanding cargo operations with a $47 million project.

The project will allow the airport, which is home base for Cargojet, to handle increased cargo operations.

It will strengthen and expand airfield and de-icing capacity, strengthen and rehabilitate key airport infrastructure, such as aprons and taxiways, improve stormwater management systems, and construct a dedicated roadway for cargo operations over the next two years, starting in 2023.

Four elements

Airfield and de-icing capacity expansion will increase common-use gate capacity by 125 percent and de-icing capacity by 250 percent, as well as widen taxiways to alleviate critical capacity restrictions and ensure unrestricted airfield access for expanding fleets and aircraft sizes.

In addition, de-icing water will be treated on-site to eliminate the release of glycol residual and improve stormwater management.

Airfield strengthening will improve infrastructure supporting the main apron, including taxi lanes and taxiways.

A new general service equipment road will help reduce delays by constructing a new, dedicated service road parallel to a major taxiway to separate aircraft and equipment’s conflicting use.

The total project cost is $46.9 million, and Transport Canada’s National Trade Corridors Fund (NTCF) investment will contribute $23.4 million, with remainder being privately funded and managed by the airport operator, TradePort International Corporation, as part of its capital investment plan. The airfield work will be completed in phases over the next two years to ensure uninterrupted operations to existing 24/7 operations.

“The John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport is home to one of Canada’s largest cargo freighter distribution networks and is crucial to the supply chains and economic opportunities in Hamilton and the surrounding communities,” said Filomena Tassi, minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario.

“Today’s investment highlights our commitment to build reliable and efficient supply chains while creating jobs and positioning our economy for success.”

Hamilton International Airport, Canada’s third largest cargo airport by payload, serves as a global gateway in a strategic transportation and trade corridor, and is an economic engine generating significant jobs, industry activity, and GDP, said Cole Horncastle, the airport’s executive managing director.

“This support from the National Trade Corridors Fund will enable Hamilton International Airport to advance investment to expand and strengthen its airfield and critical assets, create new full-time jobs, generate additional economic activity, and ensure that existing infrastructure under pressure today will be ready to support current and emerging growth well into the future.”

This project will create approximately 460 construction jobs and an additional 1,830 full-time jobs by 2025, representing an additional $142.6 million in labour income. The Airport anticipates that the NTCF investment will support the Airport in generating approximately $2.1 billion in total economic activity annually by 2025.

Hamilton International is a significant economic contributor for the City of Hamilton and the surrounding region. Its latest Economic Impact Study demonstrated that, in 2021, the Airport generated 4,720 jobs in the region (a 35 percent increase since 2017), labour income of $339.7 million, and industry activity of $1.5 billion.