Halifax International Airport Authority Delivers Solid Financial and Operational Results in 2018

Today, Halifax International Airport Authority (HIAA) looked back on the significant milestones and accomplishments of 2018 and reported strong financial and operational results for another year.

“It was an exciting 12 months here at Halifax Stanfield,” said Joyce Carter, President & CEO at HIAA. “We celebrated another year of record-setting passenger and cargo numbers, and welcomed new flights, destinations and amenities that enhance the customer experience. We also continued to position the airport as a regional economic hub and gateway to Canada, while being squarely focused on safety, security and environmental excellence.”

In 2018, total revenue rose to $111.5 million ($100.2 million in 2017). Contributing factors include increased passenger traffic and continued growth in airport concessions activities and parking services revenue. Expenses in 2018 were $99.6 million ($95.3 million in 2017). Expense increases were primarily driven by rising amortization costs, higher ground lease rent, and increased salaries and benefits for strategic resources.

Revenue exceeded expenses by $8.2 million ($6.9 million in 2017), after incorporating the impact of defined benefit pension accounting in addition to operating revenue and expenses. This surplus will be reinvested in airport operations and development to enhance our facilities and services, as required by HIAA’s mandate.

“Looking over our financial performance for 2018, our results were achieved by strong passenger and cargo activity, sound fiscal management, measured capital investment, and continuous strategic oversight,” said Paul Brigley, Chief Financial Officer at HIAA. “We were very pleased that Standard & Poor’s strengthened HIAA’s credit rating to AA- last year, an upgrade from the longstanding rating of A+, in recognition of our consistent economic performance.”

In 2018, passenger numbers reached a new record of 4,316,079 passengers served (4,083,188 in 2017). This increase of 5.7 per cent (4.5 per cent in 2017) made it the busiest year in the airport’s history.

“It was an excellent year for passenger service, marking our fifth consecutive year of growth,” said Carter. “We know that providing our passengers with more options and price points, such as ultra-low-cost flights and more nonstop routes to popular destinations gives them more reasons to travel, for business or leisure. Halifax Stanfield has become the airport of choice for more and more passengers, which we’re thrilled to see.”

It was also a record year for air cargo. With 36,938 metric tonnes processed at Halifax Stanfield (an increase of 8.5 per cent over 2017), cargo volume also increased for the fifth straight year. In terms of export value, cargo shipped from Halifax Stanfield was worth an impressive $447.1 million. The top commodity exported is Nova Scotia seafood – predominantly live lobster – at a value of more than $232 million.

To further enable growing global demand for Nova Scotia exports, last year HIAA sought and received support from all levels of government, private businesses in the cargo logistics chain, and partner agencies to create an Air Cargo Logistics Park at Halifax Stanfield. This $36 million facility will enhance transportation infrastructure, foster export capacity, and create jobs, all to the benefit of Nova Scotia and the region.

“The most recent economic impact study highlighted that we are an economic engine worth more than $3 billion annually to the Nova Scotia economy,” said Brigley. “With $750 million invested in construction and renovation since 2000, this represents more than 70 per cent of all airport-related capital upgrades in Atlantic Canada, solidifying our key role in regional air passenger and cargo activity.”

Look at other highlights from 2018 at Halifax Stanfield:

  • $41 million in capital investments (up from $30 million in 2017) to improve the safety and efficiency of the airport and provide added capacity for future growth.
  • Among the first airports in Canada to introduce CATSA Plus, an innovative concept that improves passenger flow while enhancing security. HIAA leveraged this opportunity to expand the terminal building, providing more space for new retail and restaurant partners.
  • Achieved Level One and Level Two of Airports Council International (ACI) Carbon Accreditation program; a unique and voluntary program for airports, that recognizes work undertaken to exceed standards in environmental conservation and sustainability practices.
  • Hosted inaugural ACI Customer Excellence Global Summit, in partnership with ACI World, at new Halifax Convention Centre.