Comment 16441

By Rick (anonymous) | Posted December 30, 2007 at 16:34:33

Your out to lunch on this one. They need service to Hamilton International Airport. The Airport is booming and the lands around it will inevitably be developed. The only thing you are doing is driving up the cost of the project by delaying it like the Red Hill that should have been built years ago. I do work at the airport part time and there are a lot of people working there right now 24/7.

As to that totally out of context article in CATCH, here are a few quotes I have read in Sky and would like to share with everyone.

“Interesting fact is that the airport only severed 16,000 people about 10 years ago and 22,500 in 1999. This year they should be doing between 700,000 to 750,000 passengers. The 1986 terminal was built to serve 450,000 passengers.”

“They are cherry picking a specific month, November '07. Combined August, May and June it increased 21.8%, don't see that being mentioned much. Sure aircraft movement went down in the last 3 years but CATCH fails to mention Flyglobespan, which started service this year. November when down because Flyglobespan ended its summer service and taking a break over the winter, so of course it went down. “

”CATCH is massaging the data to suit its own agenda. Bottom line, the airport is much more profitable today than it was two years ago, even three years ago when traffic was at its peak. Remember, WestJet used Hamilton as its central hub, until it pulled out three years ago. This was a huge setback for the airport, but was a singular event with a ripple effect on the stats for the airport. This resulted in flights dropping dramatically in 2004 - 3 years ago. So, this singular event would skew a three-year average to look like a long-term decline. Compare today's flight figures to 2005 figures, and you could say that aircraft movements are trending up!”

“This story is out of context. First aircraft movements do not relate to passengers volume, cargo volume, greater landing fees or size of planes. Some examples.
· A friend of mine who is an avid flyer just recently moved his small single engine plane from Hamilton International to the Stoney Creek Airpark because HI is too busy. He flies about 3 times a week. They are not going to miss his landing fees. Aircraft movements include private aircraft.
· Take London Ontario. They have between 1 and 3 flights a day with WestJet. Hamilton has 7 to 9 flights a day with large aircraft. Air Canada London 12 flights a day with 18 to 50 passenger planes, Hamilton 5 flights a day with 37 to 50 passenger planes. They also have 3 flights a day to Detroit with Northwest on 34 seat aircraft. Hamilton does more charters a day from December to April and more international flights a day from April to November. At certain times of the year, London has more movements a day than Hamilton but Hamilton always does more passengers because of the size of planes.
· UPS had at one time 3 B727-100 aircraft a day into Hamilton with a total of 21 containers and limited belly freight. Then they went to 2 B757-200’s with a total of 30 containers and larger belly freight. Now they use and DC-8 and a B757-200 with a more containers and greater belly freight. At times they change the planes to an A-300 that has 30 containers by it’s self. Less aircraft movement did not translate to less freight. The heavier aircraft generated higher landing and parking fees.

As you can see, just because a month or two, and November is the slowest month for aircraft movements anywhere, are slower than before, does not mean the airport is not doing well. Catch has aligned its self with the anti-airport movement.

If they compare it with the last year of WestJet before they moved to Toronto and now, it is down. If you look at passenger growth from last year to this year, than it is up. They should be doing between 700,000 to 750,000 passengers this year. London did only 413,000 passengers in 2006. Interesting, London International’s annual report shows their aircraft movement is down over the last 3 years.”

”Hamilton International Airport Update
Plans are being drawn up for the expansion on the departure area. It will be expanded out to the north of the terminal. The addition will hold over 800 passengers at one time. The present area now holds approximately 300 passengers. Space will be provided for more concession and food stands. There will be a larger duty free shop in the departure area.

The apron will also be expanded. The area to the east of departure area and up in behind the international arrivals area will be expanded. The aircraft will then park on three sides of the terminal with the international flights on the eastside in behind and closer to the international arrivals area.

The departure area expansion and apron expansion should be completed by the end on April 2008”

“By the time the entire project is done inside and out it will be June 2008. Around that time they plan to have plans finalized for the next phase and off to the board in Vancouver (the owners of the airport) for approval.

They are going to build a second floor on the building (size unknown to me) that will be the new departure area. This will be very large with air bridges to they aircraft. Almost all of the present and future concession areas will be moved up there. The new entrance to that area will be stairs where the present security area and Tim Hortons are located. At that time the first floor departure area and arrivals area will be joined together to make a large arrivals area. This project should be completed by late 2009 or early 2010. This will depend on how fast Vancouver allows it to start.”

“On phase 1(2008) of the Hamilton Airport Expansion. Value of the terminal works $3.5 million. Value of the apron expansion and new ramp lighting $3 million. Total $6.5 million. (Work has now started)

International expansion should be finished December 12th.

2nd floor expansion (Phase 2) will cover most of the 1st floor part except part of the front that was not designed for a second level. There will be 7 air bridges to aircraft with boarding areas expanded to the east. Phase 3 will be built to the west and will have 8 air bridges for a total of 15.

Phase 2 is expected to be finished by early 2010. Total value of phase 2 will be between $30 and $35 million.”

”Other updates from Hamilton International Airport (YHM)
· Air Bridge Cargo, which is poised to launch flights from its Siberian hub via a Canadian point to Houston with its new Boeing 747-400ERF, also ruled out Toronto for cost reasons, narrowing the choice down to either nearby Hamilton or Montreal-Mirabel.
· Cargojet of Canada, with a large base and hanger at Hamilton International Airport are adding a Boeing 757-200F aircraft. There are un-confirmed reports that a deal for Cargojet to lease in two Boeing 767 freighters from UPS. These aircraft will most likely based in Hamilton.
· Cargojet has also ruled out a move to Toronto, calling the airport's landing fees prohibitive.”

Catch is just Anti-airport and has aligned themselves with that whole group that fought the Red Hill and have nothing else to do so they picked something. RTH seems to be going that way also. I think they both should put their efforts into something else like getting several LRT routes into Hamilton.

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