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matt602 Oct 31, 2010 1:14 AM

I stand corrected then.

realcity Oct 31, 2010 2:16 AM

Is this a conversation about how lame Hamilton;s Regional Airport is> It got "International" status and YHM because Bataligia and group paid for a longer runway.

urban_planner Oct 31, 2010 8:21 PM

Acutally its called an international airport because it has international flights.

realcity Nov 1, 2010 2:00 AM

actually it can take international flights because it got a bigger runway to accept 747s.

ergo it then became an "international" airport. Prior to that runway expansion by Tradeport it was a Regional Airport.

Today it barely sees a 747 sized plane, though it can handle one.

I guess we should pay bazillions$ for AEGD now.

coalminecanary Nov 1, 2010 4:54 PM


Originally Posted by LikeHamilton (Post 5013187)
  • WestJet will announce more winter destinations for this winter. I am thinking it will be more Florida destinations.

I read in the spec that WestJet REDUCED their number of domestic destinations starting today. But they are still running some vacation destinations "seasonally".

markbarbera Nov 1, 2010 10:58 PM

WestJet has reduced its domestic destinations from YHM to just Calgary for Winter 2011, but will be reintroducing all its Summer 2010 domestic destinations come Summer 2011. International destinations offered by WestJet remain the same for the winter as last year (seasonal favourites like Florida, Mexico, and the DR) and Cuba has been added as an international destination offered by Hola Sun for the winter. Rumour has it that UK destinations may return soon as well. (as a side note to coalminecanary, unless the geopolitical situation has drastically changed without my knowledge, Florida is an international destination and not a domestic flight)

I think we all agree we'd like to see more scheduled passenger service out of YHM. It would probably have helped if some of the people whinging about the lost destinations actually flew them when they were offered out of YHM. From my own personal experience, I have flown out of Hamilton on several occasions and have always encountered flights with decent passenger loads, so I am not sure why they get pulled as often as they do. I think a lot of it has to do with the influence GTAA has over airlines and the complicated little chess game they are playing to get their second airport in Pickering.

At any rate, the cargo side of things keeps carrying the day for YHM. It keeps growing impressively, and now is being joined by some promising new ventures like the Ornge medical transport centre of excellence. And the development of AEGD will only expand the growth in this segment of the airport's business. Let's hope passenger business can take off soon as well.

urban_planner Nov 1, 2010 11:45 PM

so real city what exactly is your point? is it that service from a 747 is what contitutes an airport being international?

I hope its not that the lengthening of the runway was waste of money. It definatly wans't, maybe in term of passesnger usage yes, but two of the major cargo companies have aircraft into yhm nightly that require a runway that length.

coalminecanary Nov 3, 2010 4:56 PM

Mark, I never said Florida was domestic so I'm not sure what you are getting at.

If any companies move into the aerotropolis then cargo tonnage will likely increase. But that is a big if with a huge price which must be paid before we'll ever know if the businesses will come (my money says they won't).

The slight possibility of an increase in cargo traffic is likely the main reason for Richard Koroscil's unending fight for the aerotropolis. He is managing a dying airport and needs to do whatever he can to improve his numbers. It's no skin off his back if he can successfully leverage half a billion taxpayer dollars to help him succeed, even if the success is marginal.

Cargo tonnage has increased over the years but YHM's rank within Canadian airports has stagnated (they have actually slipped recently if I am reading the numbers correctly), so does that mean that the tonnage increases actually represent an increase across the board nationally? Does it have anything to do with YHM or is it just that more stuff is getting shipped in and out of every airport?

{Unfortunately statscan's numbers for airport tonnage are totally out of whack so it's hard to tell. Each year the report lists different numbers for past years, so it's hard to determine which is accurate. It's almost as if they changed the units without telling anyone.}

Regarding passenger flights, I think it is completely inappropriate to blame people (not sure who you are accusing here anyway - citizens of Hamilton? readers of this board? oakvillians? brantfordians?) for not buying enough tickets out of Hamilton.

I am sure I am not alone in that I personally search YHM first whenever I am looking for a flight (which is admittedly infrequent). Unfortunately it is rare to actually find a flight that gets you where you need to be. I am sure there is a tipping point where you have to have a certain number of flights and destinations before your airport is taken seriously, and after that the selection just gets bigger and bigger. Unfortunately reaching that point is a bit of a catch 22.

Regardless, all the hoping in the world is not going to make YHM successful. Unless any of us believes that fuel prices will fall (I think most of us understand they will be continually rising), passenger flights are going to become less common and airlines are going to have to tighten belts and reduce the number of destinations they serve. Will YHM ever be taken seriously alongside YYZ?

My prediction is that passenger service at YHM will continue to dwindle and our cargo tonnage will change only to match the change in tonnage that all Canadian airports see nationwide (i.e. YHM maintains their current rank, in the neighbourhood of 6th-9th place for cargo).

I predict that aerotropolis (if built, but hopefully it isn't) will sit mostly empty (except for one or two businesses which will be hailed as proof of aerotropolis success) just long enough to make Hamilton sweat a bit, at which point the homebuilders (who own a bunch of the land already) will swoop in and offer to "save" Hamilton by utilizing all of this freshly serviced land which has failed to generate tax income.

We need to hunker down and fix our core. We need to become a real city once again. THEN we can focus on our airport. We need to give people a reason to fly in and out of here. A few flights to Cuba aren't going to do it. A few flights to London aren't either. And most of all, spending a half billion on servicing industrial lands up there is not going to help in any way at all. Until we fix the city, anything we do at the airport is simply surface treatment.

urban_planner Nov 4, 2010 2:11 AM

Yes the cargo tonnage has also gone up at other airport, it only makes sense, If its in gone up at Hamilton airport its probably gone up at other airports too since most of the cargo into and out of Hamilton is domestic.

So the question would be Are the other airports benifiting from Hamilton or vice versa.

I would say a bit of both. Hamilton has been larger aircraft the last year or so. Kelowna Flightcraft has brought in Larger aircraft. They used to only fly cargo in 727 but now they also use DC-10s.

Cargojet also used to just have 727 not they have 2 767 and one 757.

Also Cargo jet flights to Poland almost every weekend with cargo from that nation. Also DHL moved there flight from the US to YYZ to YHM. In addition to this the last few months have seen an increase in Cargo flights shipping Car Parts up from detroit. Yes thats right car parts for the car that are apparently going extinct.

Anyway I don't know how much research anyone actually does before ripping on the airport.

Also what makes an airport successful The number of passenger flights or whether or not its making money?

One last thing no matter how you look at it the airport has grown a lot since the late 90s. I remember a time as a kid when there were only 4 19 seater flight to pittsburgh per day and one UPS flight. Cargojet didn't exsist and Kelowna flightcraft was only flying out in Kelowna and the west.

Will AEGD succed who knows. From what I have herd from people in the planing feild(not anyone related to the city) There are companies that are hoping to develop on the land out there.

coalminecanary Nov 4, 2010 12:40 PM


Originally Posted by urban_planner (Post 5042113)
So the question would be Are the other airports benifiting from Hamilton or vice versa.

The only way YHM could be benefiting other airports is if the cargo is originating here - either by being manufactured here or by being transferred to/from sea rail or trucks here.


Originally Posted by urban_planner (Post 5042113)
Also DHL moved there flight from the US to YYZ to YHM. In addition to this the last few months have seen an increase in Cargo flights shipping Car Parts up from detroit.

Yes, companies moving operations from other airports to YHM represents success and growth. All of your talk of carriers switching to larger airplanes has nothing to do with YHM specifically, never mind representing YHM success.


Originally Posted by urban_planner (Post 5042113)
Anyway I don't know how much research anyone actually does before ripping on the airport.

Well, I personally read all of the stats can reports since 2000 to try to determine exactly how the airport has performed over the last 10 years.


Originally Posted by urban_planner (Post 5042113)
One last thing no matter how you look at it the airport has grown a lot since the late 90s.

Yes it is bigger than the late 90s, but passenger numbers have been in decline since 2003 and cargo has only grown to match the growth across the country - there's nothing really spectacular happening up there.


Originally Posted by urban_planner (Post 5042113)
Will AEGD succed who knows. From what I have herd from people in the planing feild(not anyone related to the city) There are companies that are hoping to develop on the land out there.

<sarcasm>Well in that case, sign me up for my share of paying for the servicing then. What is it, $1000 for every taxpayer in the city? Maybe more? I'll just put off a few of my holiday days and maybe some meals to help pay for it. Maybe I'll put in some overtime to help top up the coffers. It's gotta be worth it since someone heard from someone that maybe some company might be interested in hopefully opening there. PHEW! And here I thought it was all speculation!</sarcasm>

If "who knows" is enough to convince you that it's worth paying for, then why don't you fund my portion of the aegd servicing costs too please!

markbarbera Nov 4, 2010 2:04 PM

The assertion that YHM is a dying airport is simply incorrect. YHM is a profitable airport under YVR's magaement, and continues to be incresasing profitable. Passenger numbers may be down since 2003, but its profitability is up. As was already pointed out, the measurement of success is profitability.

With regards to AEGD, if we were to accept the claim that every household will need to pay $1000 to service the AEGD, then consider this. The added cost will provide an employment area that will provide 24,000 new jobs to the Hamilton workforce in stage one of AEGD. The first phase of AEGD will add $66 million to the property tax base by the time it is built out in 2031.

Even if we also work on coalminecanary's claim that all AEGD will produce is forklift operators, we are talking about 24,000 forklift operators with an average annual salary of $27,000, or an annual increase in the city's workforce payroll by nearly $650,000,000.

A one-time investment in servicing the land will result in 24,000 jobs in the first stage of AEGD development (43,000 when fully developed, plus an additional 20,000 spin-off jobs) and a contribution of $6 million to the city's annual tax base. This is a bad thing how?

flar Nov 4, 2010 2:16 PM

I've said it before, and I know it's an unpopular view, but Hamilton desparately needs employment lands. I really don't like the idea of developing over farmland and would prefer that brownfields be reused, but the reality is that few, if any, businesses are going to go through the time and trouble of brownfield remediation when there is flat, clean, serviced land available in neighbouring municipalities. In this case, I'm not going to let ideology trump pragmatism.

Do you really think Hamilton will attract offices and industries to the areas near Dofasco and Stelco? It's literally like hell on earth down there. A business looking to locate on a brownfield site is looking at dealing with red tape at multiple levels of government and uncertainty surrounding the costs and timeframes for cleanup and building. These are business risks that will tilt decisions in favour of the already existing, highway accessible industrial parks in places like Brantford, Guelph, Cambridge, Milton, or London (to name a few).

Hamilton is not prosperous and the tax base is skewed way too far toward residential. Only when Hamilton has a healthier tax situation and some economic prosperity will it be able to properly do things like downtown revitalization and cleanup of the vast industrial waterfront.

coalminecanary Nov 4, 2010 3:22 PM

Mark, the one major flaw in your numbers is that the job and tax creation projections which have been reported are based on 100% uptake. This is simply not going to happen. Even the most successful business park projects do not provide 100%, so even in the best real world case example, the income is not going to match what has been reported as if it were truth.

Meanwhile, the costs of servicing the lands are 100% real and are front loaded - we have to spend this money before we will see any return, and in fact before we can accurately predict the return.

There is zero percent chance that the cost projections are too low and 100% chance that the income projections are too high.

Add to that that there is some very sound logic that suggests that the uptake will be significantly lower than 100%. How low? It's hard to say. But if we are targeting companies whose priority is accessible cheap greenfield land, the airport lands are a terrible bet. Aerotropolis will still be competing against surrounding communities who offer land that is more accessible by highway. Their land will also not come bundled with enormous stormwater management issues. Their land will not come bundled with restrictions on height, sound, RF usage and other limitations that are inherent in locations close to airports. So unless the companies being targeted actually need access to air, there are going to be huge barriers to their choosing to locate at aerotropolis.

Meanwhile, we already have greenfields which are equally (or more) accessible than the airport lands, and we can't attract businesses to those. You can see our available greenfields here:

Can you explain to me what, exactly, it is about the aegd lands that will appeal to incoming businesses? What exactly is the sales pitch? Why will they locate there instead of North Glanbrook which so far has attracted ONE tenant?

This is a huge gamble with our money and the promise of payoff is built on very shaky ground.

In this time when Hamilton can barely afford to keep existing infrastructure in place we simply cannot afford to take this risk.

Regarding my $1000 per taxpayer estimate, it's actually very conservative. The initial estimated cost is $323 million PLUS $125 million for the trunk sewer. That's $450 million. Our population is 500,000. How many households are there in Hamilton? A lot fewer than 500,000. And who pays our taxes? 70% is covered by residential taxes. WE CANNOT AFFORD THE AEGD, it is simple economics. I invite all proponents to pay for it themselves and keep all of the supposed revenue. You will be giving your money to the home builders association because the businesses are not going to just magically appear.

Regarding the types of jobs, if the majority of jobs are comparatively low on the income scale, where exactly are the people holding those jobs supposed to live? And how will they get there? This type of extended societal cost has not even been brought into the equation.

The entire project is wishful thinking. We might as well build a popsicle stick skyscraper and a giant magnifying glass. Then we can all ride the monorail to our escalator to nowhere

markbarbera Nov 4, 2010 3:25 PM


Originally Posted by coalminecanary (Post 5042634)
Can you explain to me what, exactly, it is about the aegd lands that will appeal to incoming businesses?

The airport.

coalminecanary Nov 4, 2010 3:30 PM

And one more thing

Hamilton is a CITY for god's sake. We should be aspiring to build our future as a city. If the best we can come up with is to pave a bunch of farmland that is so far outside of Hamilton that it practically is Brantford, then what are any of us even doing here?

We should not be spending all of our money (and by that I mean money we don't even have) to compete with Brantford for a bunch of single storey warehouses. We might as well assimilate with Burlington. Let all of the small towns fight for the highway adjacent warehousing. Real cities don't bitch when surrounding towns get a warehouse, but for some reason, everyone seems to be aspiring to attracting warehouses from Brantford. CAN WE PLEASE FORGET TRYING TO EMULATE BRANTFORD?? Like, is that even for real?

We need to be building the damned city. Where does it end? Why don't we just shut down the core and move the entire operation up to Binbrook?

This city needs to get real and it needs to happen soon or we are all doomed.

coalminecanary Nov 4, 2010 3:37 PM


Originally Posted by markbarbera (Post 5042640)
The airport.

Can you be more specific? Can you give me an example of a business that needs to be near an airport? I'm not trying to be obtuse, I am actually curious. Most manufacturers ship by road, don't they? And the larger ones by rail or sea? Shipping by air is limited to fairly specialized applications, isn't it? And as oil prices rise, and trucking becomes less affordable, what is it most likely going to be replaced by... air? Seems unlikely.

The existing airport business park - next to the airport - sits empty with no interested companies. Lloyd Ferguson (mr aerotropolis himself) said that "nobody is lining up to move into the aegd" - so who in hell are we building this for?

SteelTown Nov 4, 2010 3:50 PM

I purchase tons of lab supplies and they are all shipped from warehouses mostly in New Jersey, California, New York and Alabama.

Most of the Canadian distributors of these supplies are in Mississauga, take a guess why? Pearson.

What's dumb is that they ship to Hamilton Airport, transport my antibodies to Mississauga and then drive it to Hamilton.

flar Nov 4, 2010 3:51 PM

In order for Hamilton to be a city, it needs jobs and economic activity. In order to even support the existing city infastructure, it can't be dependent on residential taxes. Also, have a look at the industrial park along the QEW in Stoney Creek, it's built out. Look at the business park around Nebo Rd and the one along Wilson in Ancaster. They are filling in quite nicely. I see no reason why the aerotropolis won't attract business. It has excellent highway and airport access and it's in a prime location vis a vis the US and Toronto. Too many Hamiltonians work in the large business parks surrounding Pearson Airport and along the highways through Halton and Peel. Those municipalities provided this type of infrastructure years ago and that's why Hamilton has a very unhealthy commuter deficit. Again, none of this is my ideal world, but it's the world we live in. Fighting this just puts Hamilton deeper in the hole.

markbarbera Nov 4, 2010 4:03 PM

The City of Mississauga has about 5000 hectares of employment lands surrounding their airport. It is at 93% occupancy and is physically constrained from further development.

coalminecanary Nov 4, 2010 4:30 PM

Pearson exists and is successful because of Toronto. The business parks surrounding Pearson are successful because of Toronto. If Toronto was not the biggest city in the country - if Toronto was the size of London or Hamilton - Mississauga would not exist.

These places are successful because of Toronto, not the other way around. I promise you that Toronto did not become successful as a city because they serviced a bunch of land at the airport to attract businesses. They serviced the land there to meet the demands of businesses who wanted to locate near a great city.

We have no such demand now. When we do, we can talk about expansion. Hell, I'll be happy to adjust my position if we can fill the empty business park that we've already built at YHM. Just fill that one.

When we have a successful core, and a successful city, we can talk about leveraging the space around us.

Building the aegd now is putting the cart so far in front of the horse that the horse isn't even born yet.

Let's ask another question - who owns the land up there?

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