Estimated reading time 4 minutes, 31 seconds.
The following is an open letter from Philippe Rainville, president and chief executive officer, Aéroports de Montréal
At the current rate, Montréal-Trudeau airport will see traffic growth of more than seven per cent in 2018, and this after posting record growth in passenger numbers of 9.5 per cent in 2017.
Since passenger flights to and from Montréal were consolidated at Dorval in 2004, yearly traffic has doubled, increasing from 9 to 18 million, and the number of direct international destinations has tripled, from 30 to 89.
Starting in a few weeks, incidentally, our community will benefit from another eagerly awaited international route, when service between Montréal and Tokyo is introduced.
The reasons for growth
This growth is attributable to a combination of phenomena. The low price of fuel. The fact that more people have the means to travel, or need to travel. The fact that Montréal is attracting more and more tourists, businesspeople and academics.
Air Canada’s strategy of using Montréal as a hub for growing numbers of international travellers. The skills of our team members. The fact that our airport is so efficient. Montréal-Trudeau is the global standard for airports in Nordic countries: we never close!
We have even developed, jointly with our partners, environmentally friendly aircraft de-icing techniques. We wanted this great gateway to the world, and we’ve built it. Now, we must follow through. Embrace our success. Meet the challenge of growth.
For several months now, I have been meeting with various groups, explaining to them how we intend to address the rapid development in traffic.
We are preparing some major work projects to meet our greatest challenge of these last few years: that of responding to increasing demand.
The capacity challenge
When it comes to accessing the airport–that is, the cityside–over the next eight years we must rebuild two major infrastructures that have reached the end of their life cycles: the multilevel parking garage across from the terminal, and the passenger drop-off area, the large elevated roadway that you take when bringing family and friends to the airport or picking them up.
Planning of these work projects will also include the connection to the REM light-rail network. Starting next year, we will begin the work to add the underground station, 35 metres below the multilevel parking.
Montréal will at last join the ranks of world metropolises that have fast, efficient transit links with their international airports. Airside, the challenge is simple: all of our systems are at the saturation point.
We have been continually expanding from within, reconfiguring, imagining solutions. In recent months we have, among other things: created a connections centre for passengers in transit; added 100 automated kiosks at international arrivals; restored and put back into service eight passenger-transfer vehicles from Mirabel; and added several remote aircraft stands.
Just recently, we have even purchased staircases for deplaning onto the tarmac, and buses, like those used down south–because we have a shortage of departure and arrival gates.
The projects we have in the pipeline will require investments of at least $2.5 billion over the next five years. And, more important, they represent the initial phase of a sequence of projects that will continue until 2030.
Our priorities for these upcoming projects, meanwhile, remain the same: maintain the proper levels of safety and, especially, service quality for our passengers. Because we are working for them and for the entire Greater Montréal community.
And because we want to keep residents and travellers well informed about future projects and our vision for the Montréal-Trudeau of tomorrow, we’ve created an information platform, which we’ll update as work continues.