John C. Munro Airport During the Time of COVID

This article contains information about the role John C. Munro is playing during the COVID-19 crisis as well as an update on the ongoing modernization project at YHM.

Hello Ward 8 Neighbours,

COVID-19 has shuttered travel for the time being. From empty airports to many airlines across the country seeing dramatic financial losses, the air industry is facing drastic changes.

Although things are at a standstill when it comes to moving people, the business of moving freight is arguably more important now than ever. With that in mind, we thought we would give an update on what is currently going on at John C. Munro International Airport and upcoming developments to keep an eye on.

For more details, please continue reading below…

YHM a Vital Hub for Logistics

John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport  is Canada’s largest domestic express cargo airport, and is an important hub for the facilitation of goods across Canada and around the globe. Some key cargo companies such as Cargojet, DHL, UPS, Amazon, Canada Post and Purolator have headquarters or large distribution centres at the airport.

With a growing demand for a variety of medical supplies and products needed during the crisis, air cargo shipments arriving from various international destinations into Canada are expedited thanks to an established express cargo operation at the Hamilton International Airport, according to the airport.

The Airport has generated a 10% increase in cargo activity over the past two months, with the key factor being people staying home and shopping online.  This marks a positive development in an otherwise challenging time for air travel globally.  

“In this evolving and changing environment, we commend all our partners in the passenger and cargo sectors for their resilience and exceptional commitment to both their operations and their teams.  It is with great pride that we acknowledge the role that the Airport and its partners are playing during this crisis while supporting the supply chain for the City of Hamilton, Ontario and Canada” said Cathie Puckering, President and CEO, John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport.

Ward 8 Councillor John-Paul Danko at KF Aerospace in early 2019.

Ongoing Modernization Project

As of April 2020, the second phase of the Runway Rehabilitation and Modernization Project. The project is in the second year of of the planned four year schedule, and according to an airport spokesperson they expect that these projects will improve the efficiency, reliability and safety of airport operations, as well as accelerate investment to accommodate the increasing use of larger wide-body aircraft for domestic and long-haul traffic all to support the growth of Hamilton’s airport.

The Airfield Rehabilitation and Modernization Project was created to fully restore YHM’s two main runways, supporting taxiways and lighting systems over the next four years, starting in 2019.

The four major elements of critical transportation infrastructure includes the following:

  • Strengthen the Airport’s primary runway: Runway 12-30 is one of Southern Ontario’s longest runways, and investment will facilitate current and future heavy freighter traffic. Rehabilitation of instrument landing and low visibility systems will improve overall reliability.
  • Strengthen the Airport’s secondary crosswind runway: Investments will be made to improve the efficiency of Runway 06-24, which serves as the alternative approach and departure path for diversion flights during inclement weather.
  • Upgrade taxiways systems: The airfield’s support system of taxiways connecting to the runways will be upgraded to accommodate growing 24/7 aircraft operations.
  • Upgrade airfield lighting: Advanced LED lighting technology will be implemented on the airfield to improve reliability, promote efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The total project cost is $38.89 million, and Transport Canada’s National Trade Corridor Fund (NTCF) will contribute $18.54 million, with the balance funded by airport operator TradePort International Corporation, as part of its capital investment plan. To minimize closures and interruption to existing 24/7 operations, airfield work will be completed in phases.

YHM is a vital economic engine for the City and a major employer. In 2017, the Airport generated almost 3,500 jobs in the region and industry activity of $1.2 billion.  The modernization projects have created 350 construction jobs, with an additional 863 full-time jobs to be created over the next five years. The Airport anticipates that the NTCF’s investment will facilitate approximately $2.1B in economic activity annually.

Construction is expected to last until 2023. For more details on YHM’s present and future, visit

Questions or concerns?

If you have any questions or concerns, you can contact our office here.