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Ontario Supports Expansion

Ontario Supports Expansion of Thunder Bay Airport Terminal
Province Investing in Renovations at Major Transportation Hub to Better
Serve Passengers


Ontario is supporting major renovations to the passenger terminal of the Thunder Bay International Airport to help ease increasing traveller volumes and better serve passengers.

Michael Gravelle, Minister of Northern Development and Mines, was joined by Bill Mauro, Minister of Municipal Affairs and MPP for Thunder Bay-Atikokan, in Thunder Bay today to announce funding through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC) to help the airport expand the departure lounge and customs clearance hall as well as provide more space for travelers.

In addition to expanding the airport terminal building, this investment will also help create 13 jobs and will continue to support new opportunities as passenger volumes continue to increase.

Investing in community infrastructure and creating jobs in the North is part of Ontario's plan to create fairness and opportunity during this period of rapid economic change. The plan includes a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, easier access to affordable child care, and free prescription drugs for everyone under 25 through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation.

Quick Facts
• Ontario is investing $5 million in this project through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC) Strategic Economic Infrastructure Program.
• Since 2013, the province has invested more than $621 million through the NOHFC in over 3,845 projects, leveraging more than $2.2 billion in direct economic activity and creating or sustaining over
15,300 jobs in Northern Ontario.
• In the greater Thunder Bay area, the NOHFC has invested more than $108 million in 757 projects that have helped create or retain more than 2,450 jobs since 2013.
• Ontario is making the largest investment in hospitals, schools, public transit, roads and bridges in the province’s history – about $190 billion over 13 years.
“Our government recognizes that improving transportation infrastructure is vital to long term economic prosperity in Northern Ontario. Today’s investment in Thunder Bay’s airport demonstrates our ongoing commitment to creating increased fairness and opportunities for northerners by growing the economy, attracting more tourists and creating jobs.”
Michael Gravelle

Minister of Northern Development and Mines, MPP for Thunder Bay-Superior North and Chair of the NOHFC

“By supporting this important project, we are helping our airport expand to address the increasing volume of passengers and prepare for future growth. The NOHFC’s investment will help the airport welcome
larger international flights and attract new businesses to the area.”
Bill Mauro

Minister of Municipal Affairs and MPP for Thunder Bay-Atikokan

“We thank the province and the NOHFC for investing in the much-needed expansion of our terminal building. The Thunder Bay airport is experiencing record volume of passengers and this project will expand our capacity to accommodate more travelers. The airport has generated over 200 new jobs between 2008 and 2016. We are confident that this new capacity will greatly assist in extending our growth trend.”
Ed Schmidtke

President and CEO, Thunder Bay International Airports Authority Inc.

Additional Comments
Michael Gravelle  “It is an exciting day for NOHFC to be providing $5 million to the Thunder Bay Airport. It is a good news day. The airport brings commercial activity to NW Ontario. The number of passengers have doubled since this airport opened in 1994. There is a tremendous amount of travel from Thunder Bay to Toronto and beyond.”
Bill Mauro “As a community Thunder Bay has done very well compared to many other communities in Ontario and the airport reflects this. On the airport property there are several businesses that have located here. We have transformed this economy pretty well with knowledge based jobs
and come forward well from the recession of 2008. It is important to see Thunder Bay as a place to do business. The work never ends but we have done well.”
Ed Schmidtke “ We will expand the departure lounge by 55% or 3300 square feet to provide some room to move which helps us with charter traffic. The customs hall will be expanded which is important as we now have 160 passenger jets coming through.”
“ We are a 16 hour drive to Toronto and the airport helps with this. We now will have capacity to expand. Sunwing is now starting at the end of October instead of Christmas, so more capacity. A modern tourist is
coming to Thunder Bay to enjoy our pristine nature. They expect world class departure lounges. The departure lounge will be finished mid summer and the Customs area by Halloween.”
“The potential return of a Minneapolis or Chicago route is not on the books right now. It has to do with American carriers than our market. US carriers have pulled out of many Canadian cities to do with the
currency exchange working against that service, the economics of their smaller jets and how expensive they have gotten to operate as they got older.”
“Porter means there are 40 jobs resident in Thunder Bay instead of Toronto and the people are mostly in their mid to late 30’s, which is a demographic we badly need in Thunder Bay.”

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