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Halifax International Airport Authority reducing staff by 25 per cent: CEO

An Air Canada jet takes off from Halifax Stanfield International Airport in Enfield, N.S. on Thursday, March 8, 2012.
An Air Canada jet takes off from Halifax Stanfield International Airport in Enfield, N.S. on Thursday, March 8, 2012. Andrew Vaughan/CP

The president and CEO of the Halifax International Airport Authority (HIAA) has let stakeholders know that the number of staff members will be reduced by 25 per cent.

“In my 20 years at HIAA, I never thought I would be dealing with such an extreme situation that has so dramatically shifted our business in a short period of time,” Joyce Carter said in a statement dated Tuesday.

Carter said the reduction in staff is needed to match expected airport operations and service delivery requirements over the next few years.

She said the company doesn’t expect flight volumes to return to 2019 levels for many years, which will “drastically reduce the available revenue that is required for the safe and efficient operation of the airport.”

“We sincerely regret having to do layoffs,” she said.

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“We’ve been fortunate to build on a strong foundation over the past 20 years that HIAA has been managing and operating the airport.”

“Our people are a big part of the reason we are consistently recognized among the best airports of our size in the world, and therefore, taking this step is heartbreaking.”

READ MORE: Some airline operations suspended at Halifax airport amid temporary closure of Canada-U.S. border

Carter said notices have been issued to a number of union and non-union employees, which followed earlier steps taken such as freezing hiring, not filling several vacant positions, ending term, seasonal and student contracts, and asking for voluntary leaves.

It’s currently unclear how many employees will be impacted by the layoffs.

Halifax Stanfield International Airport spokesperson Tiffany Chase 225 people are usually employed, including terms and students.

“When our human resources adjustments are completed, we will have approximately 25% fewer positions,” she said.

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Carter added that the airport served fewer passengers in the entire month of April than on an average day in 2019.

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“This is a really tough time for our team — those individuals who are personally affected, their colleagues, and all employees who will be facing big changes with this announcement,” she said.

“It will take time, but we’re confident that we’ll recover with the right-sized organization focused on safely and efficiently operating the airport post-pandemic and be ready to welcome you once again.”