Gander Airport Reports Annual Performance
(Gander, NL April 16, 2014) The Gander International Airport Authority (GIAA) released details of its 2013 financial performance at its Annual Public Meeting today.
The airport posted a modest operating surplus on revenues of $8.3 million, representing the airport authority’s ninth consecutive year of profit. Revenue increased $490,000 over 2012 levels.
“Amidst alternating economic headwinds and tailwinds, we consider these acceptable results but there is significant room to grow and the coming years will be pivotal,” stated GIAA President and CEO Gary Vey.
Passenger traffic at Gander grew 6% over 2012, marking the highest passenger totals at Gander since 1989. Enhanced service by Air Canada and Sunwing Airlines provided an 8% increase in total available seat capacity from the airport. Passenger traffic to the Caribbean grew 9% behind performance on Sunwing Airline’s direct winter charters to Cuba and the Dominican Republic. Spurred by 2013 results, Air Canada announced it will announced it will extend its seasonal non-stop Toronto service by six weeks for the coming summer.
International traffic remained down significantly over historic levels, Mr. Vey said.
“The aviation industry has undergone significant rationalization and re-fleeting which brought to an abrupt end many of the older, fuel-inefficient aircraft types which were the cornerstone of international fuel stop traffic at Gander,” Mr. Vey said. “Reduced international flights made for a challenging year for our many tenants established primarily to service these operations. There are niches of international aviation that will continue to patronize Gander and show aggregate growth in the coming decades, but overall this market has been in sustained decline over the last four decades and is not expected to resume any ascendency.”
Over the last two years, the airport authority completed $13 million in capital works projects. In part, this was to clear off a “bow wave” of capital works requirements created by years of deferral, Mr. Vey explained. In 2013, projects included some in-terminal enhancements, the addition of 150 new long-term parking spots and some much-needed rehabilitation of airport roadways. The airport also completed Phase I of a 150-acre business park. In 2013, non-aeronautical revenue (represented by parking, concessions/retail, ground transportation and leasing and non-terminal rent) represented 43% of the airport’s revenue.
“The airport is working to reduce its dependency on volatile aviation business cycles with the aim to establish a risk-reduced portfolio of diverse income streams,” Mr. Vey said. “We will continue to work to build this portfolio and marshal opportunities in land leasing, as we have a prime tract of land for retail in a growing economy.”
GIAA Chairperson Fred Moffitt noted that the key priority for the GIAA going forward was to construct a new, right-sized air terminal building.
“The current airport infrastructure is vastly overbuilt for our needs, both present and future. The terminal costs $1.7 million annually to operate and that cost will rise with energy rates,” Mr. Moffitt stated. “It is clear that a new, right sized terminal is required. A completely new facility will be energy efficient and might include some features of the old airport as a tip of the hat to our rich past.”
An external firm will complete a site selection analysis and conceptual design for the airport by the Fall of 2014.
“We are grateful to all of those who have entrusted their support as we operate Gander International Airport on their behalf,” Mr. Moffitt stated. “We take a measured approach to managing the airport and recognize we are the caretaker of a powerful economic engine and strategic piece of enabling transportation infrastructure.”
The Gander International Airport Authority is the not-for-profit organization created in 1996 to manage operations at Gander International Airport (CYQX). The airport plays a key role in the economic and community development of the Central Newfoundland region.
For further information, contact:
Gary Vey, President and CEO
Phone: (709) 256-6668