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Halifax Air Gateway Drives Growth

IT TAKES A VILLAGE . . . For most air passengers traveling between Europe and North America, a small airport on the eastern coast is the first or last landfall to be seen from 40,000 feet in the air. Today, Halifax Stanfield International Airport—which serves the Halifax municipality and a population of about 420,000—is busy building key partnerships to foster growth.

Closest To Europe

     Halifax is the capital city of Nova Scotia, which has a total population of less than 1 million people.
Located on the east coast of Canada, Nova Scotia is the closest mainland point to Europe.

Too Big To Be Miniscule

     Halifax Stanfield is a small part of the country and miniscule on a global scale.
     Despite that, you may be surprised to learn that the gateway handled 3.7 million passengers and over 32,000 tons of freight through the airport in 2015.

Coastal Advantages Above & Beyond

     Another enormous advantage of the airport’s coastal location is its immediate proximity to the air and ocean routes utilized every day by carriers between North America and Europe.

Great Seafood

     The Halifax coastal waters are also home to the finest hard-shell lobsters in the world. “Our exporters traditionally ship millions of pounds of live lobster annually by truck to the northeast U.S. and by air to key markets in Europe,” said a spokesperson for Halifax Stanfield International Airport.
     “More recently, our live lobster exports to China have grown by more than 400 percent.”

Best Airport You Never Hear About

     With these natural advantages, there are also disadvantages.
     As with many airports, “Halifax struggles to market ourselves with limited funds as we try to attract additional passenger and cargo capacity,” the spokesperson said.
     Like all of the major Canadian airports, Halifax International Airport Authority (HIAA) is a locally controlled, non-share capital corporation, incorporated in November of 1995.
     On February 1, 2000, Halifax International Airport Authority took over the management of Halifax Stanfield International Airport. Transport Canada relinquished its role of operator for the role of landlord and regulator instead.
     This agreement requires the facility to pay a significant amount of airport rent to Transport Canada, in excess of $6 million CDN in 2015.

Tired of Paying Rent

     “With incentives a growing component of business development, this is money we would prefer to utilize ourselves,” the spokesperson said.
     “From a recent Financial Post article (April 14, 2016): ‘the nine largest U.S. airports received $423 million from federal and state governments in 2011, according to a report prepared for the National Airlines Council of Canada by Fred Lazar, an economist at York University’s Schulich School of Business.’
     “By contrast the eight largest Canadian airports paid $266 million in rent to Ottawa, or about 10 percent of their total revenue. In total, the Federal government collected nearly $1 billion in airport rent and security fees in 2015.”

Sticking Together

     “Facing this adversity head on, our small ‘village’ quickly became aware that we needed all our community partners to share expertise and pool our resources, including funding.
     “As with airports everywhere, we work alongside layers of municipal, provincial, or state as well as federal economic development groups with the common stated goal of growing our economies by attracting and/or retaining business, tourism, and trade.”

Halifax Gateway Council Initiative

     “Back in 2003 the C.E.O. of our Airport approached his counterparts in key sectors such as our port, the major rail operator and trucking companies, as well as the economic development arms of the City of Halifax and the Province of Nova Scotia.
     “From those initial conversations, the Halifax Gateway Council (HGC) was established in 2004 and provides a forum for transportation providers and stakeholders in the Halifax region to work collaboratively to improve the efficiency and competitiveness of the Gateway for the movement of goods and people.
     “Funded by both the public and private sector, the HGC seeks to establish partnerships to increase business through the Halifax Gateway.”

Success Story

     “The Halifax Gateway is essential for local companies that want to do business with the world.
     “It offers advanced logistics, multimodal transportation and easy access to North American and global markets,” explains Nancy Phillips, executive director of the Halifax Gateway Council.
     “It includes the Port of Halifax, Halifax Stanfield International Airport, two container terminals, CN Rail, the freight forwarding, logistics and warehousing sector and Nova Scotia’s Class 1 highway infrastructure.
     “The Halifax Gateway Council fosters cooperation between key players from a diverse set of sectors including the Port, Airport and CN, along with transportation providers, exporters and other organizations that benefit directly from an efficient and competitive gateway.”

Nancy Phllips

Cooperation Is Harmonious

     “We work together and put a common voice to key markets and relay the interesting things that are going on in the business community,” said Ms. Phillips.
     “It’s easier for governments and businesses to understand what the priorities are when they hear that unified voice.”

The Big Four

     Four committees (made up of municipal, provincial and federal government organizations as well as private businesses) promote the Gateway globally.

Air Gateway Committee Vita

     The Air Gateway Committee is made up of the Airport, Nova Scotia departments of Business plus Transportation & Infrastructure Renewal and Tourism, Nova Scotia Business Inc., Destination Halifax and the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency.
     The committee looks for ways to work on collaborative marketing campaigns that will sustain and grow air routes and capacity.
     This includes increasing access for cargo planes in and out of Halifax’s Airport, attracting new airlines, and increasing the number of international travelers.
     The number of direct flights into Halifax for consultants and workers can be a key factor in an international company choosing the Gateway.

Trade Missions

     Halifax Gateway Council members regularly participate in trade missions to highlight the benefits of doing business in Halifax for foreign governments and businesses.

What’s Next

     While Halifax’s proximity to growing markets like India and China make it attractive to international concerns, that same geography also make the Gateway well-suited to accommodate Atlantic Canadian companies who wish to take advantage of the low Canadian dollar and venture into international markets.
     “Two-way trade is so important,” says Phillips.
     “We have a lot of exporters in this region that benefit from having an international port and airport, and a class 1 railway provider that can help them quickly and efficiently move their goods to market.”

Growth Picture

     “From 2001, when eight carriers served Halifax, we now have 17 scheduled and seasonal airlines plus a significant presence from key integrators like Cargojet and FedEx as well as two weekly freighters flown by Korean Air Cargo and now joined by Qatar Airways Cargo,” said the Halifax Stanfield International Airport spokesperson.
     “Cooperation and coordination have been crucial.
     “Try a deep dive to Halifax,” the spokesperson said,” and you may find that the water is fine.”

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FlyingTypers Exclusive Series

The President Show

     This Thursday, April 27th, our very own Anthony Atamanuik debuts The President Show on Comedy Central. Described as a cross between President Roosevelt’s fireside chats and a late night talk show, The President Show continues Anthony’s crusade to lampoon the 45th President of the United States.

     Comprising desk segments, field pieces, and interviews, Comedy Central’s new late night show—which takes the time slot of Larry Willmore's since-canceled The Nightly Show—will, as Anthony put it, further his mission of “comedic activism.”
     “There are going to be a lot of curveballs in this show. I don’t think people will be expecting it. It’s definitely not just a 25-minute ‘SNL’ sketch, that’s for sure.”
     The President Show airs April 27th at 11:30pm on Comedy Central, directly after The Daily Show. Anthony can also be seen on Today’s (April 25th) episode of The Daily Show.
     He appeared last week on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert—watch to see how he gets into character. The The Huffington Post (as well as The Daily Beast, Splitsider, Rolling Stone, and others) has described his transformation as “the best Trump impression.” We’d have to agree.
     I've said this several times over the last 2 years, and I'll say it again: Go, Anthony, go!

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