An aerial view at Gander International Airport from the airport authority's website www.ganderairport.com.
Passenger traffic at Gander International Airport increased 5.7 per cent in 2012, the highest since 1989, according to the airport authority.
President and CEO Gary Vey said in a news release 2012 was the best year for passenger traffic at the airport in almost a quarter century.
“We are delighted so many travelers are choosing the convenience of flying from Gander,” Vey said, pointing to growth on the Gander-Halifax and Gander-Labrador routes, as well as strong patronage on Air Canada’s seasonal non-stop service to Toronto and Sunwing’s winter program to the Caribbean as the primary performance drivers.
Establishing the Gander airport as the preferred passenger hub for central Newfoundland has been a key part of the airport’s business plan, Vey said. The airport authority is forecasting continued growth for 2013 as new air travel options, a healthy regional economy and increased non-resident tourist visitations buoy traffic.
While domestic growth has been positive, Vey said it has been “a difficult year” for Gander’s traditional international technical stop business.
“A confluence of economic and geopolitical factors has impacted this line of business. It has been a challenging year on this front for the airport and the many companies at Gander Airport dependent on international business,” he said.
The Gander International Airport Authority is a non-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. In 2013, the airport celebrates its 75th year of operations.