St-Hubert runway upgrade could help attract low-cost carriers to Montreal

The news that Saint-Hubert Longueuil Airport has upgraded its primary runway to accommodate larger aircraft, such as the Boeing 737 and Airbus A220/320, is interesting to anyone who’s been hoping to see low-cost airlines flying out of Montreal.

More than $13 million of the $17-million runway upgrade was provided by the Canadian Government Airports Capital Assistance Program and is part of a development strategy to transform the airport into a regional transportation hub.

The only obstacle to bringing low-cost carriers into the airport today is the fact that St-Hubert has no actual terminal building to speak of. It makes me wonder if it might have been smarter to use the money to spruce up Mirabel Airport seeing that its runways can accommodate just about any airplane you can think of.

Of course, its terminal building was demolished only a few years ago because no one could foresee a day that Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport would not be able to accommodate growing air traffic to Montreal and there might be a need for a secondary airport to handle the overflow that might also be attractive to low-cost carriers.

St-Hubert does have the advantage of being closer to downtown Montreal compared to Mirabel, but I have a soft spot for Montreal’s previous airport of the future that today is only used for cargo flights.

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