The Government of Canada on September 6 announced it is making an investment of $30.4 million to increase air cargo capacity at Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport. The government describes Winnipeg International Airport is a key transportation hub for central Canada, the Canadian North, and for Canada’s international trade flows.
Winnipeg International Airport is part of the National Airports System, which includes 26 airports that serve about 95 per cent of all scheduled passenger and cargo traffic in Canada, and handle almost all of Canada’s international trade flows by air.
This project, to be financed by both the Government of Canada and the Winnipeg Airports Authority, aims to provide economic and trade benefits for Canadian producers in the region by offering additional export capacity for commodities that would otherwise be exported via U.S. transportation hubs. The project will also improve accessibility and affordability of goods in Canadian remote and Northern communities.
“Transportation systems are a vital part of Winnipeg’s economy and the investment announced here today will foster long-term prosperity for the city,” said Doug Eyolfson, Member of Parliament for Charleswood — St. James — Assiniboia — Headingley, who made the investment announcement on behalf of Transport Canada. “These improvements to the Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport will help businesses and producers get more products to market.”
The construction of a 13,000-square-metre cargo logistics facility will include space for cold storage and perishable commodities, live animal handling, expanded air cargo capacity, and additional space for aircraft. This will benefit producers in multiple industries, particularly e-commerce, agricultural livestock, pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, and aerospace, which require the specialized storage space it will provide. It will also improve the efficiency and affordability of air resupply out of Winnipeg for remote and Northern communities.
This investment will have additional economic benefits by creating an estimated 630 jobs during construction. The Government of Canada is supporting infrastructure projects that contribute most to Canada’s success in international trade, through its National Trade Corridors Fund.
The Government of Canada notes that while the United States continues to be Canada’s top trade partner with $741.4 billion in trade ($437.6 billion exported, $303.8 billion imported) in 2018, trade is growing with international markets. From 2015 to 2018, trade with Asia (excluding the Middle East) grew by 18.9 per cent to $199.2 billion and trade with the European Union grew by 19 per cent since 2015 to $118.1 billion in 2018.