The Airport: Good news & bad news

First the good news. The latest report from Transport Canada confirms that the Greater Moncton Airport has become the major airport in New Brunswick. In September 2004, there were 3,152 commercial flights out of Greater Moncton (domestic and transborder). There were 2,261 in Saint John and Fredericton combined.

In addition, our flights per capita (a statistic that I have watched for years) are starting to creep up. In my opinion, flights per capita is a key economic statistic as it compares how the local population is interacting, in relative terms, with the outside world.

In the early 1990s, before WestJet, CanJet, et. al. there were less than 10 flights per month per 1,000 population out of Greater Moncton. Now that number is up to 26 flights per 1,000 population.

Of course, the ongoing issue of transborder flights is a major problem for Moncton. Despite having a catchment area of over 1 million people within a 3 hours drive, Moncton only had four (4) transborder flights in September. Halifax, by contrast, had 981 commercial transborder flights. Fredericton had 123 and even Saint John beat out Moncton with 15, commercial (non-private or government) transborder flights.