Passenger numbers for Hamilton’s John C. Munro Airport should show a healthy gain this year over last. The launch of New Leaf Airlines means people can get to  more than 10 western and eastern Canadian destinations. There is definitely a business case to be made for low-cost, no-frills airlines operating out of secondary airports like Hamilton. Let’s hope the venture works. WestJet, who have been flying from Hamilton for nearly 20 years have added a direct Edmonton flight this summer in addition to their Moncton route. In addition we hear the daily Air Canada flights to Montreal are going out with nearly full loads. It’s a chicken and egg scenario really—the more destinations an airport can offer the more people will come to use it. What critics of the airport don’t understand is it isn’t airports that attract airlines, although a professional marketing operation is essential—the market itself that attracts airlines. The growth of Hamilton as a booming real estate market, and its position as the hub of at least a million potential passengers, is the reason Munro Airport is getting a second look. The road congestion and long lines at Pearson are another positive factor—for Hamilton at least.

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