Nova Scotia’s primary airport, Halifax Stanfield, has witnessed a surge in cargo operations. Indeed, its air freight traffic incoming flights were up by 30% in March 2021 compared to the same month in 2019. The authority in charge of the airport drew the 2021 comparison to 2019, as opposed to 2020, because it would be a more accurate reflection of air freight traffic growth due to the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 distorting such figures.
The airport’s Vice President of Business Development & Chief Operations Officer, Marie Manning, commented: “We see a lot more aircraft coming in and there are a number of reasons for that. First of all, we have the capacity to handle more aircraft right now.”
Her comments are a reflection of the significant development that Halifax Stanfield Airport has undertaken with the continuous rollout of its Air Cargo Logistics Park. At a cost of US $36 million, three of its aprons are currently in use and further aprons will be completed later in 2021. As such, larger aircraft, including the Boeing 747-400 Freighter, can be accommodated.
Cargo traffic helping with passenger shortfall
In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, online shopping has been the winner. Consequently, there has been an increased demand in parcel shipments which in turn has increased cargo shipments.
Furthermore, cargo planes are now able to make technical stops at Halifax’s Stanfield Airport. These stops are defined as when aircraft arrive at an airport for air crew, maintenance or fuel changes. Having these capabilities is helping the airport to thrive in its cargo operations despite an estimated 90% drop in passenger traffic within the past 12 months. Indeed, local businesses have also benefited from the greater supply of raw materials from incoming cargo flights.
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