ENFIELD: Halifax International Airport Authority (HIAA) is preparing to implement the next phase of its current 10-year capital plan to upgrade its facilities, expand current services and enhance the passenger and visitor experience at Halifax Stanfield International Airport.
“Halifax Stanfield is one of the most critical pieces of transportation infrastructure in Atlantic Canada,” says Joyce Carter, HIAA President & CEO. “Over half of all the air passengers and air cargo that move in Atlantic Canada pass through our airport, creating a tremendously positive impact on Halifax and the entire province as an economic generator and growth enabler. It’s imperative that we continue to invest in and further advance this valuable community asset.”
Highlights of HIAA’s comprehensive capital plan include the following major infrastructure investments, many of which will help improve airport safety, security and reliability:
• Airfield development including upgrades to airfield lighting and vehicle screening structures
• Runway, taxiway and apron restoration
• Terminal building expansion for passenger security screening, passenger processing, and new concession offerings
• Upgrade of utility infrastructure, including power and sewer
• Replacement of snow removal and emergency response/fire vehicles
• Expansion of vehicular parking infrastructure and services
• Central chiller plant replacement
• Information technology improvements
“These improvements demonstrate our continued focus on safety, and are required to meet the needs of our current and future passengers and visitors, allowing us to compete effectively for new business and to adapt to the long-term needs of our airline partners,” says Carter.
Funding Sources for Capital Investments
There are three primary sources of capital funding that major Canadian airports like Halifax Stanfield can use to fund necessary capital investments – reinvestment of operating surpluses, debt markets (borrowing), and the Airport Improvement Fee (AIF).
Like other airports, HIAA uses all three. Operating surpluses will continue to be reinvested; funds from HIAA’s two bond issues will continue to be used; and the AIF is being changed to $28 (plus HST) from $25, effective January 1, 2018. This $3 change will be reflected on airline tickets sold on or after October 1, 2017 for Halifax passengers whose flight departs on or after January 1, 2018.
Projects at Halifax Stanfield to be funded by the AIF are determined through a consultation process with the airlines that serve Halifax. The AIF is collected by the airlines from departing passengers, and is added to the price of each originating airline ticket, which represents about 40 per cent of Halifax Stanfield passengers. It does not apply to arriving or connecting passengers.
“Responsible, effective management of the growth and development of the airport is essential to ensure long-term financial health,” says Paul Brigley, HIAA Vice President, Finance and Chief Financial Officer. “We are committed to providing the necessary infrastructure, both as Nova Scotia’s principal air connection to the world and as a significant economic engine for our community. These improvements will help us fulfill those responsibilities.”
Intra-provincial AIF Decrease
HIAA is also announcing that the AIF charged to passengers departing to Sydney, Nova Scotia, will decrease to $15 from $25, effective January 1, 2018. This $10 change will be reflected on airline tickets sold on or after October 1, 2017 for Halifax passengers whose flight departs on or after January 1, 2018.
“We want to make the option of flying between the two largest cities in our province more affordable. A 5-hour road trip can easily become a short 40-minute flight, allowing business travellers to make a quick day-trip between the two cities and allowing tourists visiting our province that don’t have much time to experience both Halifax and Cape Breton. We believe this reduction in AIF for passengers flying within Nova Scotia will improve the competitiveness of air travel in the region,” says Carter.