Canadian Airports Council Statement on Federal Budget 2021

The Canadian Airports Council, a division of Airports Council International-North America, and the voice for more than 100 airports in Canada, issued the following statement in regards to the April 19, 2021 federal budget.

Ottawa, ON April 19, 2021 The Canadian Airports Council today thanked the federal government for several positive initiatives to support air travel and tourism in Federal Budget 2021.

A strong and resilient aviation sector is key to Canada’s economic recovery and from the earliest days of the pandemic, Canada’s airports have aimed to work with government and industry partners on an aviation recovery and stimulus plan to reopen our skies and borders when the time is right. Federal Budget 2021 is another step in the right direction, in particular in the following areas:

  • $2 billion is being provided to the National Trade Corridors Fund for trade-enabling infrastructure funding.
  • $82.5 million is allocated for airports for COVID-19 testing when travel resumes.
  • $105 million is being dedicated to the Known Traveller Digital Identity program to advance digital traveler credentials, with an additional $600 million to Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) for border modernization.
  • $1 billion over three years to support tourism, arts and culture.
  • Extension of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy program.


While Budget 2021 represents continued progress, there is still work to be done on two critical fronts: Financial relief and a restart plan.

Budget 2021 funding for COVID testing at Canada’s airports is welcome, but to ensure that airports are ready when demand for passenger traffic returns, government and industry must also formulate a restart plan in the coming months.

Given the financial strain that airports are under – including revenue losses of $5.5 billion to the end of 2021, and new debt of $2.8 billion –  the CAC also continues to ask for financial support through the form of a moratorium on ground lease rent until the business recovers and more options for interest free loans and operational support.

These actions are necessary to help ensure that Canada’s air sector is competitively placed on the other side of the pandemic, to compete with airports and airlines in the U.S. and other jurisdictions that have provided greater government support to their travel and tourism sectors to address the pandemic crisis.


About the Canadian Airports Council

The Canadian Airports Council (CAC), a division of Airports Council International-North America, is the voice for Canada’s airports community. Its 54 members represent more than 100 airports, including all of the privately operated National Airports System (NAS) airports and many municipal airports.

Canada’s locally managed and not for profit airports are essential community assets.  In 2019, they supported 194,000 direct jobs, contributed $19 billion to GDP and $48 billion in direct economic outputs. They also remitted $6.9 billion in taxes to municipal, provincial and federal governments.


For more information, please contact:

Debra Ward

Canadian Airports Council

613 850 9118