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Archived - Prince George Airport approved for international air cargo transshipment program

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OTTAWA - The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, today announced the approval of the Prince George Airport to participate in the international air cargo transshipment program. The program allows air cargo to be moved through the airport for shipment to third countries, allowing it to seek new market opportunities and further develop its air cargo activity.

"Our government is pleased to have the international air cargo transshipment program in place," said Minister Cannon. "The Prince George 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 Prince George, 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 Prince George to the United States, allowing the airport to take full advantage of the Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor.

"One of the key goals of the Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor Initiative is to make our West Coast ports and airports a destination of choice for shippers that take goods back and forth between Asia and North America," said the Honourable James Moore, Secretary of State for Official Languages, the Asia-Pacific Gateway and the Vancouver-Whistler Olympics. "With this new transshipment capacity, the Prince George Airport is moving one step further toward becoming a true transportation and logistics hub for the whole North American market."

"This announcement is great news for the Prince George Airport. The air cargo transshipment program will support our multi-modal cargo development and will help to ensure that the Prince George Airport runway extension project, targeting air cargo carriers flying trans-Pacific routes, is competitive and capable of growth in the handling of cargo and freight," said Stieg Hoeg, General Manager of the Prince George Airport Authority (PGAA). "This designation will allow the Prince George Airport, our partners and our region to compete more completely on the world stage as part of a true transportation and logistics corridor for North America."

The program enables the Canadian Transportation Agency to authorize any foreign air carrier to use Prince George Airport Authority 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 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), Calgary (2007), and Abbotsford, Vancouver and Moncton (2008). The program is also being introduced at Toronto Pearson International Airport and at Halifax Stanfield 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 market-oriented Blue Sky international air policy.

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Karine White
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, Ottawa

Media Relations
Transport Canada, Ottawa


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