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Airport Contributes $2.7 Billion to Province in 2015

Halifax, N.S. – Just how valuable is Halifax Stanfield International Airport? Our economy thrives on it – to the tune of $2.7 billion in 2015. Our citizens rely on it – with a record number of 3.7 million passengers in 2015. Our shippers count on it – air exports are worth over $438 million annually. Our tourism industry depends on it – almost one-third of the province’s tourists enter Nova Scotia through the airport. These figures are according to the latest economic impact report released today, which was produced by The Chris Lowe Group.

“A successful airport is the backbone of business, the heart of a community, and the lifeblood of prosperity. With our ability to operate 24/7, the airport creates jobs; moves people, goods and ideas; and is one of the most critical pieces of transportation infrastructure in Atlantic Canada,” says Joyce Carter, President & CEO, Halifax International Airport Authority (HIAA). “Together, the Airport Authority and all of our airport partners have a tremendous positive impact on Halifax and the entire province as an economic generator and growth enabler.”

The methodology used to calculate the 2015 economic impact of the airport has been updated from past studies. The new methodology now applies the Input Output Tables of Statistics Canada’s System of National Accounts to determine various impacts on Nova Scotia, including airport and tenant operations, airport and tenant construction (capital) projects, Nova Scotia exporters using airport cargo services, and tourists entering Nova Scotia at the airport. By calculating these impacts in one economic model, a broader range of direct and spinoff impacts related to economic activity, employment, household income and government revenues can be determined. The result is a comprehensive assessment of the airport’s many positive benefits in 2015 to the Halifax Regional Municipality and the Province of Nova Scotia.

The $2.7 billion total is composed of almost $1.8 billion in impacts from airport and tenant operations, with the total impact from air cargo exporters approaching $470 million and tourists entering the province at the airport contributing over $838 million to the provincial economy (total adjusted to eliminate double counting).

Since operational transfer of the airport from the federal government in 2000, HIAA and airport tenants have invested approximately $600 million in new capital development and maintenance, generating some 10,710 full-time equivalent (FTE) construction-related jobs and contributing $983 million to Nova Scotia’s economic output. These projects represent over 70 per cent of airport-related capital improvements in Atlantic Canada.

“These investments are a clear indication of our confidence in the future and we certainly have reason for optimism,” says Carter. “Inspired by the call to action in the One Nova Scotia Report, we believe there is no better time than right now to be aggressive in our pursuit of new opportunities.”

Halifax Stanfield International Airport is a significant employer, with positions associated with airport activity on-site and throughout Nova Scotia. At the airport, there were 5,505 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs in 2015. Major employers include IMP Group, Air Canada and Jazz Aviation who together had 2,066 FTE staff or almost 40 per cent of the airport’s workforce.

In addition, activity by Nova Scotia air cargo exporters and expenditures by tourists entering Nova Scotia at the airport generated more jobs throughout Nova Scotia. The direct employment associated with airport operations, airport tenants, air cargo exports and air tourists is 12,076 FTE jobs. The direct and spinoff employment for all activities associated with Halifax Stanfield International Airport is 29,423 FTE jobs with 5,505 FTE jobs or 19 per cent based at the airport. For every job at the airport, four more jobs are created in other parts of the province.

Total wage and salary impacts of Halifax Stanfield on the provincial economy was over $1.2 billion. As well, airport community employees contributed $55.1 million in personal income tax to the province and $27.5 million in retail sales tax.

“Simply put, Halifax Stanfield enriches the economy of Nova Scotia, and we are proud to make such a valuable contribution to our region’s success,” adds Carter.

Since opening in 1960, over 111 million passengers have been served by Halifax’s international airport.