Airport cargo park to create hundreds of new jobs

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HALIFAX STANFIELD AIRPORT: A new air cargo logistics park at Halifax Stanfield International Airport will create hundreds of new jobs through construction of the facility on 25 acres adjacent to Gateway Facilities.

Under bright sunshine, Central Nova MP Sean Fraser, HIAA President and CEO Joyce Carter, HRM Mayor Mike Savage, Potlotek First Nation Chief Wilbert Marshall, and Lena Metlege Diab, minister of Immigration, were on hand for the official groundbreaking of the $36 million facility. The federal government is investing $18 million; the province $5 million; and HIAA the remainder.

Chief Wilbert Marshall, Chief of Potlotek First Nation. (Healey photo)

When asked how many jobs the facility will bring, both Carter and Fraser said they had to double check with airport staff at the numbers included in their speeches. The new facility will see 643 jobs during construction. In the first year of the facility operating, more than 3,300 full-time people will be employed. Five years out that number grows to 6,700 full-time jobs.

“My eyes have been open to the importance of trade corridors, not only to the national economy but the economies of people who live and work in the communities I represent,” said Fraser. “It took me about six minutes to see the bottleneck that exists here.”

He said investments like this one gets the economy moving along with hundreds of people put to work. The payscale for those jobs will vary on the position, Fraser said.

“When I was looking over the job creation numbers for this project I didn’t believe them and had to double check them when I got here,” he said with a chuckle. “This means a lot to lobster fishermen, to our agricultural sector and more.”

HRM Mayor Mike Savage, Central Nova Liberal MP Sean Fraser, President and CEO, Halifax International Airport Authority, Joyce Carter, Chief Wilbert Marshall, Chief of Potlotek First Nation, and Minister of Culture and Heritage, Lena Metlege Diab, make it official. They posed for a photo with shovels to officially kick-off the construction of the new $36 million air cargo park to be built on 25 acres of vacant land. It is expected to be open by early 2021. (Healey photo)

The park will include a new cargo apron area, buildings for cargo handling, an aircraft de-icing facility, and associated operational areas both airside and groundside.

It will become Atlantic Canada’s largest cargo processing facility when built, something Carter said they’re proud of.

The facility is expected to open in early 2021.

Carter said staff have been kept busy working on site and building design, working with the Mi’kmaq representative and Chief Marshall on archaeological assessment, regulators at Transport Canada and potential tenants for the building.

“We’ve been delighted at the interest of the new building from those who want to be part of this exciting project,” Carter said.

HIAA President and CEO Joyce Carter and Central Nova MP Sean Fraser. (Healey photo)

Halifax Stanfield is at capacity for cargo so the new facility is a big plus.

“We will have growth into the future as a result of this facility so it means the products can get to markets quicker and fresher, and, in the case of lobsters, return a higher yield to our fisherman,” said Carter.

Realizing the potential to further enable regional exports and trade, Halifax International Airport Authority (HIAA) moved forward to construct the new Air Cargo Logistics Park that will benefit all of Atlantic Canada.

“This will benefit the air cargo industry, the air transport supply chain, and more,” said Carter. “It’s much broader than Halifax and N.S.”