Things are looking up at the airport T

Michael Badejo, Winnipeg Airports Authority

he importance of networks cannot be understated – they allow for interconnectivity between people and commerce all around the world, and the connections

they provide are vital for a region’s growth and develop- ment. For us at Winnipeg Airports Authority (WAA), net- works are cultivated in part through Winnipeg Richardson International Airport. WAA helps link our region to the rest of the world every day, whether to facilitate the movement of people, enhance the transportation of goods, or connect over 17,000 people working on the airport campus. At the heart of our mission, “with our community, we provide excellent airport services and facilities in a fiscally prudent manner,” we strive to deliver on this every day with passion and determination. From providing you with a way to get to that new vacation destination, to making your weekly busi- ness flight to Toronto a little more convenient, we work hard to help our travellers connect while providing a pleasant journey in our facilities. Tis connection also goes beyond the movement of peo-

ple. Alongside our record passenger traffic – reaching a new annual high of 4.3 million travellers, our fourth consecutive year of growth – we have an extensive air cargo network. Tis network connects most major Canadian cities to Winnipeg and contributes to the Winnipeg Metropolitan Region’s economy. Our economic impact of $3.4 billion is anchored on our ability to move goods just as excellently as we move people. WAA is the key facilitator in our region for moving goods

throughout the continent and around the world. Tis is for everything from groceries going to northern Canada and beyond, to acting as a point of entry for our market that so we can have fresh flowers and tropical fruit during the winter. In short, our 24/7 cargo operation is a pivotal part of how we connect our community nationally and internationally. On our air cargo campus we host significant sorting

facilities for FedEx and Canada Post / Purolator, and have strategically developed daily trans-border air service to major air cargo hubs for DHL, UPS and FedEx. Combine this with Winnipeg’s advantageous location at the heart of the Mid-Continent Trade Corridor (which makes it a logical transportation and distribution hub), and we are in position for continued progress. Why? Te rise of ecommerce. Te Winnipeg Metropolitan

Region plays an important role in supporting the movement of these same goods within Manitoba. In order for it to be successful, our region needs a supply chain that can support

it. Ecommerce thrives on an excellent supply chain process; speed, agility and ability to deliver on consumer orders are paramount. Tis means that the link between air and ground transportation for ecommerce is only going to grow – and in turn, a robust airport strategy that emphasizes the develop- ment of transportation networks is fundamental to success. We have built this in Winnipeg by developing partnerships with land and air cargo carriers, government stakeholders, communities and commercial enterprises throughout the region. By planning for this growth, we will ensure that we remain an economic and transportation leader while con- tinuing to generate advancements and positive impacts for the Winnipeg Metropolitan Region. Connecting the ecommerce purchases you make from

clicking an item online to a package arriving at your door is just one way we impact you every day. A thriving airport means not only an air terminal that puts people on planes, but it also means a thriving cargo campus that transports goods and business within Winnipeg and beyond. On the Horizon

Ensuring that we can continue to serve this community

and build on our strengths as an economic engine won’t hap- pen on its own. Our success to this point and beyond has and will continue because of WAA’s community-tailored strategy.

Executing that plan means taking action, and that’s

exactly what we did when unveiling the construction of our Ground Services Equipment (GSE) building. Scheduled to open in Fall 2019, the $27 million multi- use building will give ground handling, commissary and service companies a working area closer to the terminal than where they are today. While this means the partners we have on campus will get the services and supplies they need that much more quickly, it also gives us flexibility on our airport campus. Tis new construc- tion will also allow for better utilization of our air cargo area, providing valuable real estate in near proximity to air cargo operators. With the GSE facility being the first domino, our plan

allows us to build with our community for a brighter, more flexible future. Seeing the fruits of the labour pay off now and into the future will benefit the entire region. Te world is more and more connected every day.

For Winnipeg to contend on the global stage, Winnipeg Richardson International Airport must have the infra- structure in place to lead transportation innovation and growth. Keep your eyes on our campus as we evolve for the future of the aviation industry and of course, for connecting Winnipeg with the world.

14 Regional Times

Autumn 2018

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