The federal government is set to provide around $23.5 million to an expansion and sustainability project at John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport in an effort to increase its annual economic activity.
Minister of Transport Omar Alghabra revealed the funding will be the federal government’s portion of a $46.9-million joint program to increase cargo operations by expanding the airfield, increasing de-icing capacity and building a new independent road to reduce congestion.
“It will also create new permanent middle-class jobs for Canadians in the region,” Alghabra said during a tour of the airport on Monday.
The investment is will double arrival capacity for Cargojet’s 777 aircraft set to fly into Hamilton on a regular basis and build a dedicated service road allowing ground equipment to move goods quickly and safely between aircraft and facilities.
The upgrades will also expand gate capacity by 125 per cent and de-icing capacity by 250 per cent.
Stormwater management upgrades will include the ability to treat de-icing glycol residual on site.
The airport has generated some 4,700 jobs since 2017 equating to a 35 per cent increase in new jobs during that period, according to Statistics Canada.
“We also are responsible for generating $1.5 billion in economic activity, of which $1 billion is directly related to cargo activity, ” said Cathie Puckering, vice president and head of the Vantage Airport Group Canada.
The project is expected to create 460 construction jobs during the build, leading to an additional 830 full-time jobs when finished.
The outlet is targeting $2.1 billion in total economic activity annually.
The cash comes from a $4.6 billion National Trade Corridors Fund which is funding infrastructure projects across the county at airports, ports, railways, transportation facilities, and access roads to better the flow of goods and people.
Hamilton airport received $18.5 million for a 2019 upgrade of two main runways, taxiways and lighting systems.
The facility is the largest domestic overnight dedicated freighter cargo airport in Canada and the third largest cargo airport.
John C Munro has had about a 59 per cent increase in cargo activity over the past five years due to a shift in e-commerce.
“The successes that you’re seeing today are the result of all of the airport’s cargo partners Cargojet, DHL, UPS, Purolator, Canada Post, Amazon and Prime Air, who have already chosen to invest heavily in facilities and people here in Hamilton,” Puckering said.