Harper government announces new cargo terminal for London International

Investment will create jobs and improve trade for vital region

LONDON, ON, Nov. 30 /CNW/ - Businesses in London and the area will have a greater opportunity to access and compete in international markets thanks to an investment of up to $8 million to establish an International Air Freight Transshipment Centre at the London International Airport that will create up to 150 new jobs and launch a new Cargo Village Gateway. The Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario, made the announcement at the airport today.

"Our government is committed to creating jobs and strengthening the economy in communities across southern Ontario," said Minister Goodyear. "This investment will benefit Londoners and local businesses throughout the region, and help London become a leading transportation and economic gateway in North America."

"London told us their priority was the Airport - and we delivered. This investment by our government is a fulfillment of the number-one infrastructure request of our local government, business associations, regional leaders and key stakeholders. Our investment is significant and it creates an economic legacy for years to come. London's economy is well-positioned to rebound faster as a result of smart, strategic investments like this," said Ed Holder, Member of Parliament for London West.

The new cargo terminal will generate nearly 100 initial jobs consisting of freight handling, packaging, handling logistics, etc., with an additional 50 jobs to support customs activities and trucking. Each additional flight to London would add an additional 12 per cent in job growth.

The London International Airport and the City of London have initiated a joint venture agreement to develop 200 acres of land referred to as Skyway Industrial Park. The City of London, the London International Airport and the Government of Canada will contribute as partners to Phase One of the Cargo Village Gateway project. This will include airport land servicing, taxiway expansion and the development a freight terminal as a major step towards a foreign trade zone.

"This is very encouraging news for all Londoners and will create new jobs and industries to stimulate our economy," says Anne Marie DeCicco-Best, Mayor of the City of London. "Based on our strategic location, and this welcome financial support, the City of London can truly partner with London International Airport to implement an innovative new strategy to effectively serve as Southwestern Ontario's transportation hub for the future."

The enhanced development will allow London International Airport to capture an opportunity to become an international trade centre that generates international transportation, enhanced competitiveness for regional business and new sustainable employment. For more information on the project, please see the backgrounder.

"This strategic investment will propel the advancement of London and southwestern Ontario as a major international transportation centre and create a legacy of sustainable new employment with a connected region for business. London International Airport will develop greenfield investment opportunities for a wide variety of sectors, including distribution centers, warehousing and manufacturing," said Steve Baker, President, London International Airport.

This investment comes from the $55-million intake process under the Southern Ontario Development Program (SODP), which is open until December 1, 2009. The SODP was established to promote economic development, economic diversification, job creation and sustainable communities in Southern Ontario. The SODP is just one in a series of initiatives introduced in the Government of Canada's Economic Action Plan designed to address the short-term effects of the economic decline on communities across Canada, while preparing our communities for long-term growth. Overall funding for the SODP is $100 million in 2009-10.

For more information on the SODP and details regarding the intake processes, please visit the FedDev Ontario web site at www.southernontario.gc.ca. For more information on Canada's Economic Action Plan, visit www.actionplan.ca.

This news release is available online at: www.southernontario.gc.ca and www.actionplan.gc.ca.

                         London's future prosperity
                  The International Air Freight Opportunity

As an expanding international gateway, London International Airport has emerged as a centre of aviation in Southwestern Ontario. With a catchment area population of close to 1.7 million people, the airport continues to attract new business and increase the volume of passenger activity at the airport.

An established economic generator for the city and region, the airport provides 1,700 direct jobs and over $350 million annually to the local economy. It is the one of the largest and most successful airport in Southwestern Ontario with 50 businesses operating on site.

Currently London International Airport serves a large area of Southwestern Ontario with the majority of passengers from the region. London International Airport intends to replicate the success of regional air service development to international air cargo in a foreign trade zone environment.

The geographic proximity of London to two major USA border crossings means that 300,000 tonnes of air cargo flies over or drives by London. Diverting this cargo to a new International air cargo terminal will provide significant and sustainable jobs in the handling facilities and provide low cost direct international shipments for local manufacturing.

A full service cargo facility will be established, catering to the requirements of all cargo products and players. This new cargo terminal will be a springboard for the establishment of a cargo village with a mix of a multimodal services. The air cargo terminal will have full air/truck intermodal capability to allow for safe and efficient handling of cargo.

This expanding gateway will incorporate airport and surrounding industrial areas, together with air links and trucking facilities, to attract, bundle and channel the International movement of cargo to and from points in North America and the world.

Through this partnership, the City of London, the London International Airport and the Government of Canada are contributing to phase one of the Cargo Village Gateway project, which will provide Southwestern Ontario the key to delivering effective supply chain management with access to an extensive international route structure, easy access to continental highway network and state of the art cargo facilities to make the airport a primary gateway to North America.

For more information on the London International Airport, please visit www.londonairport.on.ca

    For media inquiries, please contact:

    Steve Baker                           Mayor Anne Marie DeCicco-Best
    London International Airport          City of London
    (519) 452-4042                        (519) 661-2500 x 4920


For further information: For further information: For media inquiries, contact: Gary Toft, Director of Communications, Office of the Honourable Gary Goodyear, (613) 943-7599; Media Relations: Industry Canada, (613) 943-2505

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