Abbotsford International Airport approved for international air cargo transshipment program



    OTTAWA, Feb. 7 /CNW Telbec/ - The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of
Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, today announced the approval of
Abbotsford International Airport to participate in the international air cargo
transshipment program. The program simplifies air carrier access to the
airport for air cargo transshipment, allowing the airport to seek new market
opportunities and further develop its air cargo transshipment activity.
    "Our government is pleased to have the international air cargo
transshipment program in place," said Minister Cannon. "The Abbotsford
International Airport now has an additional tool to help develop its air cargo
business, which will benefit the local economy."
    The international air cargo transshipment program allows air cargo to be
moved through Canada for shipment to third countries. For example, cargo could
be flown from the United States into Abbotsford, stored temporarily, and then
flown to an Asian destination. Similarly, international air cargo could also
arrive from overseas and then be shipped by rail or road from Abbotsford to
the United States, allowing the airport to take full advantage of the
Asia-Pacific gateway and corridor.
    "Canada's economic growth and standard of living still depend heavily on
the export and import of products and resources. In fact, in 2006 alone, our
exports and imports of merchandise stood at $458 billion and $404 billion
respectively," said Ed Fast, Member of Parliament for Abbotsford, B.C.
"Today's announcement is yet another signal to our trading partners that
Canada is open for business. Along with the Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor
Initiative, this program will maximize the efficient flow of goods and provide
economic benefits to Canada and local communities."
    "This announcement is great news for Abbotsford," said Dave Kandal, Chair
of the Abbotsford Airport Authority. "We are pleased to be part of the air
cargo transshipment program. Participation in the program will greatly enhance
the Abbotsford Airport's ability to become a key player in the air cargo
industry and increase the economic opportunities to our region."
    The program enables the Canadian Transportation Agency to authorize any
Canadian or foreign air carrier to use Abbotsford International Airport to
transship international air cargo, even if these rights are not provided in
Canada's bilateral air transport agreements. In addition, air carriers will be
able to combine such cargo transshipments with other services for which they
may be licensed.
    Cargo security is addressed during the application process, and on an
ongoing basis, in the context of broader security monitoring by Transport
Canada and the operational activities of the Canada Border Services Agency.

    The Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor Initiative is a national initiative
that will contribute to Canada's economic competitiveness, while also
benefiting communities through which increasing volumes of trade must move. In
its first eight months, Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor Initiative projects,
valued at $2.2 billion, were announced across all four western provinces,
including a federal contribution of almost $800 million.

    The international air cargo transshipment program was introduced in 1982
at Mirabel Airport as part of a larger effort to improve the use of Montreal
area airports. It has since been expanded to other airports, including
Hamilton (1987), Windsor (1993), Gander (2000), Winnipeg (2004), Edmonton
(2006) and Calgary (2007). The program is also being introduced at the
Vancouver International Airport and at the Greater Moncton International
Airport.
    During the course of its international air policy review, Transport
Canada determined that Canadian airports should be given the freedom to
attract cargo transshipment activity where there are market opportunities, in
line with its new market-oriented Blue Sky international air policy.




For further information:

For further information: Karine White, Press Secretary, Office of the
Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, Ottawa, (613) 991-0700,
Media Relations, Transport Canada, Ottawa, (613) 993-0055; Transport Canada is
online at www.tc.gc.ca. Subscribe to news releases and speeches at
apps.tc.gc.ca/listserv/ and keep up-to-date on the latest from Transport
Canada; This news release may be made available in alternative formats for
persons with visual disabilities


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