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NEWS Last modified on October 24, 2016

Halifax and Nova Scotia depend on the airport – new economic report

Halifax Stanfield International Airport contiunues to be a key economic generator for the Canadian city and province of Nova Scotia, contributing C$2.7 billion to the economy in 2015.

A record 3.7 million passengers passed through the gateway last year, leading the airport to declare that the local economy thrives on it, its citizens rely on it, shippers count on it and tourism depends on it.

To back up the claims, the airport notes that it exports more than C$438 million in goods annually, while almost one-third of the province’s tourists enter Nova Scotia through the airport.

These figures are according to the latest economic impact report released today by The Chris Lowe Group.

“A successful airport is the backbone of business, the heart of a community, and the lifeblood of prosperity," says Joyce Carter, president and CEO of Halifax International Airport Authority (HIAA).

"With our ability to operate 24/7, the airport creates jobs; moves people, goods and ideas; and is one of the most critical pieces of transportation infrastructure in Atlantic Canada.

“Together, the airport authority and all of our airport partners have a tremendous positive impact on Halifax and the entire province as an economic generator and growth enabler.”
The methodology used to calculate the 2015 economic impact of the airport has been updated from past studies.

The new methodology now applies the Input Output Tables of Statistics Canada’s System of National Accounts to determine various impacts on Nova Scotia, including airport and tenant operations, airport and tenant construction (capital) projects, Nova Scotia exporters using airport cargo services, and tourists entering Nova Scotia at the airport. 

By calculating these impacts in one economic model, a broader range of direct and spinoff impacts related to economic activity, employment, household income and government revenues can be determined. 

The result, says the airport, is a comprehensive assessment of the airport’s many positive benefits in 2015 to the Halifax Regional Municipality and the Province of Nova Scotia.

The C$2.7 billion total is composed of almost C$1.8 billion in impacts from airport and tenant operations, with the total impact from air cargo exporters approaching C$470 million and tourists entering the province at the airport contributing over C$838 million to the provincial economy (total adjusted to eliminate double counting).
Since operational transfer of the airport from the federal government in 2,000, HIAA and airport tenants have invested approximately C$600 million in new capital development and maintenance, generating some 10,710 full-time equivalent (FTE) construction-related jobs and contributing $983 million to Nova Scotia’s economic output. 

These projects represent over 70% of airport-related capital improvements in Atlantic Canada.

“These investments are a clear indication of our confidence in the future and we certainly have reason for optimism,” adds Carter.

“Inspired by the call to action in the One Nova Scotia Report, we believe there is no better time than right now to be aggressive in our pursuit of new opportunities.”

Halifax Stanfield International Airport is also significant employer, with positions associated with airport activity on-site and throughout Nova Scotia, directly employing 5,505 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs in 2015.
Major employers include IMP Group, Air Canada and Jazz Aviation who together had 2,066 FTE staff or almost 40% of the airport’s workforce.

“Simply put, Halifax Stanfield enriches the economy of Nova Scotia, and we are proud to make such a valuable contribution to our region’s success,” concludes Carter.

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