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Saint John Airport completes upgrades to primary runway

Saint John airport reopened primary runway after undergoing major improvements
WATCH: It’s been a busy couple of years for the airport, with a record number of passengers. And as Travis Fortnum reports, the airport authority hopes to capitalize on that success as it continues its modernization plan.

The Saint John Airport has reopened its primary runway after undergoing major improvements.

“Essentially everything is brand new,” says Derrick Stanford, president of Saint John Airport. “When I say everything I mean all of the pavement, all of the drainage, all of the lighting.”

A record number of air travelers used Saint John Airport in 2018 — 282,217 passengers.

But even with those numbers on track to increase this year, they’re dwarfed by international airports in Fredericton and Moncton.

Saint John Airports 2018 traffic compared to airports in Fredericton and Moncton.
Saint John Airports 2018 traffic compared to airports in Fredericton and Moncton.

Stanford says even more upgrades in the future could be key to staying relevant.

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“There’s still work to be done on getting more flights into Saint John and we acknowledge that,” he says.

“It’s been a challenging year in 2019 with the grounding of Max 8s.

“It’s tough because the airlines are all scrambling to keep up with the demands of their existing schedule. So it’s kind of a tough year to ask for more when they’re already struggling to maintain.”

READ MORE: Aircraft leaves runway at Saint John Airport

The volume that is served by the Saint John Airport stands to benefit from the modernization efforts for years to come.

“For the Saint John air travellers, this is a huge shot in the arm from a sustainability perspective,” Stanford says.

“Runways tend to last about 17-20 years. So the Saint John Airport with its all-new runways is certainly set up for at least the next 20 years.”