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Airport cargo terminal will create jobs for Hamilton, officials say

Politicians and executives gathered at the Hamilton airport on Friday to do an official groundbreaking for the new $12-million cargo terminal they hailed as a job maker for the region.
From left: Ed Minich, chair of the airport's finance and audit committee; airport president Frank Scremin; Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale MPP and Municipal Affairs Minister Ted McMeekin; Brant MP Phil McColeman; Niagara West-Glanbrook MP Dean Allison; airport board chair Ron Foxcroft; Haldimand-Norfolk MP Diane Finley, who is also the minister responsible for southwestern Ontario; Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale MP David Sweet; Mayor Bob Bratina; George Casey, president of Vantage Airport Group, and Burlington MP Mike Wallace. (Samantha Craggs/CBC)

Politicians and executives gathered at the Hamilton airport on Friday to do an official groundbreaking for the new $12-million cargo terminal they hailed as a job maker for the region.

Federal, provincial and local politicians heaped praise on the new 70,000 square foot facility at the John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport, which will allow carriers to transport animals, fruits and vegetables, pharmaceuticals and other fragile and climate-controlled goods.

The terminal "will help the region’s economy remain competitive and be well positioned in the future," said Ted McMeekin, Ontario Minister of Municipal Affairs and MPP for Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale.

"I’m really darn proud of my city when I see things like this happening."

Mayor Bob Bratina said the city’s objective is to become "the greatest city in the country, and we’re achieving that."

Frank Scremin, the airport’s president and CEO, said work crews have nearly finished the concrete foundation on the new terminal. It’s due to open in April 2015.

Here are some facts about the new Air Cargo Logistics Facility:

  • The construction of the terminal has created about 50 jobs. The terminal will eventually create an estimated 400 direct and spin-off jobs, officials said.
  • The provincial and federal governments have jointly contributed $8 million of the cost.
  • Cargojet, an overnight air cargo service, will be the main tenant.
  • The terminal promises more traffic on the runways, which can’t come soon enough as the airport saw a decrease in both passenger and cargo traffic last year. That drop sparked concern with some city councillors, who say TradePort, the company that manages the airport, promised higher numbers when it signed a management agreement with the city. The airport handled 398,261,000 kilograms in cargo billable weight in 2012 compared to 388,286,000 kilograms in 2013. It had 351,491 passengers in 2012, and 341,740 in 2013.
  • TradePort has put $83 million into airport upgrades, including terminal buildings, air-side runways, taxi ways, and other facilities since 1996, when it took control of the airport, Scremin says.
  • Cargojet will fly Boeing 767, 757 and 727 aircraft from the terminal.

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