The future is bright: air cargo at Halifax Stanfield


While the past two years have created significant uncertainty for the aviation sector, air cargo activity increased at Halifax Stanfield in 2021 in comparison to 2020, and recovery is expected to continue as exports remain strong, new carriers enter the market, and the new Halifax Stanfield Air Cargo Logistics Park (ACLP) begins operation.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly underscored the importance of air cargo to
global supply chains,” said Joyce Carter, president and CEO, Halifax International Airport
Authority (HIAA). “Air cargo has supported our collective fight against COVID-19
through deliveries of PPE and vaccines, maintained local jobs through exports of Nova
Scotia products, and aided our communities through efficient transport of e-commerce
orders. In every instance, air cargo has played a critical role in moving important goods
to and from our region.”

In 2021, Halifax Stanfield processed 34,769 tonnes of cargo, up 5.4% from
2020. The value of exports in 2021 was C$496 million, up 6.3% from the
previous year.

Air cargo was transported by 12 carriers and Nova Scotia seafood, specifically live
lobster, continued to be the top export. In 2021, 15,765 tonnes of live lobster, at a
value of $293 million CAD, were shipped from Halifax Stanfield to Asian and European
markets. Other top exports were medical equipment (C$53.2 million) and
aerospace-related parts (C$41.4 million).

As HIAA looks toward its pandemic recovery, air cargo remains a bright light for future
growth and opportunities. Carriers are expanding their cargo operations at Halifax
Stanfield, including Air Canada Cargo, who are making Halifax part of their regularly
scheduled freighter operations.

“Our long-standing and strong bond with Atlantic Canada and the Nova Scotia
community makes the first Canadian expansion of our freighter network not only a
natural and obvious fit, but also one that makes us tremendously proud. We are
thankful that we can continue to play a pivotal role and indeed increase our support to
the robust and growing trade sector in the region,” said Matthieu Casey, managing
director, commercial – cargo at Air Canada.

Overall, Halifax Stanfield cargo exports contributed C$664 million to the provincial
economy. Cargo capacity will grow when the ACLP building becomes fully operational
later this year. With a total of eight cargo aircraft aprons now available, and cold
storage capabilities coming soon, the ACLP will make shipping products by air even
easier for Nova Scotian businesses and enable more cargo carriers to operate out of

Funding for the ACLP construction was announced in 2018 from the Government of
Canada (C$18 million), the Government of Nova Scotia (C$5 million) and HIAA (C$13