Almost 350,000 passengers travelled through the Fredericton International Airport in 2015 – more than ever before.
This marks the sixth year in a row the airport has broken traffic records, and there’s no sign of the growth slowing. Projections indicate that the Fredericton International Airport will be at 500,000 passengers a year by 2030, generating 1,015 jobs in the province and contributing $41.5-million to New Brunswick’s GDP.
“Seeing the Fredericton International Airport post six years of growth during some challenging economic times for New Brunswick highlights how critical this piece of transportation infrastructure is to our region,” says Matt DeCourcey, Member of Parliament for Fredericton. “Growth in service at the Fredericton airport means more jobs in our region, improved access to markets for our businesses, and a better quality of life for residents.”
The 10 per cent growth in 2015 was fuelled by increased air service as WestJet launched service between Fredericton and Toronto in April. Strong tourism and convention traffic created additional demand, with several large conferences and sporting events taking place in the capital region this year. In addition, Air Canada continues to serve the Fredericton market well, with daily flights to the major hubs of Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa and Halifax.
“Travellers can now get from Fredericton to anywhere in the world on both WestJet and Air Canada,” says Johanne Gallant, Fredericton International Airport Authority (FIAA) President & CEO.
This connectivity is key for the Capital Region’s business community, stresses Krista Ross, CEO of the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce. “The potential of the airport to serve the Fredericton business community cannot be understated. Chamber members and the business community are increasing the utilization of this resource as the capacity is increased, underscoring the need for the proposed terminal expansion as utilization expands. The economic impact is exponential. Our members have told us that this expansion is a priority and we eagerly anticipate this infrastructure project coming to fruition.”
“We’re grateful to have such amazing support from our community as we work towards finalizing funding for the terminal expansion. Our current terminal was built to handle 200,000 passengers annually, so we are now operating 75 per cent beyond that and we need to provide more space to move our passengers through security,” Gallant says.
Other advantages to the expansion include a larger area in departures with improved food service, a children’s play area, improved washrooms, and a shorter distance passengers will need to walk outside to board their plane.