Statement on the November 8, 2020 Air Sector Announcement by Transport Minister Marc Garneau

Canada’s airports look forward to candid, substantive engagement with the federal government

November 9, 2020 (Ottawa, ON)  In response to Transport Minister Marc Garneau’s statement of November 8, 2020 on support for Canada’s air sector, Canada’s airports are pleased that financial support for the sector may finally be within sight.  The federal government indicated it intends to begin discussions with major airlines next week.  As airports are strategic transportation assets for trade and tourism, facilitating cargo, medevac, and remote community access, it is essential that the government engage with airports also, before finalizing any package that could affect airports’ ability to support the long-term needs of their communities.

Since the pandemic began, airports, airlines and our industry partners have worked with government to keep travellers and workers safe. The crisis has lasted longer than expected, with massive financial challenges for airports. Rapid testing holds promise to restore some lost passenger business, with pilot projects underway at three airports.  As they are limited in scope, we hope that they will be expanded in the near future.  Testing is key to rebuilding consumer confidence in air travel, so that, eventually, financial support for the sector would be no longer needed.

In addition to progress on testing government can help by:

  • Extending a multi-year moratorium on airport ground lease rents at the eight busiest privately operated airports until traffic has recovered.
  • Eliminating rent for the 14 small airports, which has never raised more than $15 million in government revenue.
  • Providing interest-free loans or direct operational support for airports.
  • Increase the Airports Capital Assistance Program (ACAP) funding for very small airports to $95 million per year for at least five years.
  • Creating a new stream of funding for safety and security related infrastructure at airports not eligible for ACAP, to maintain safe infrastructure, pay for COVID-19 adaptations, and implement new federal regulations projected to cost more than $350 million.

Canada’s airports look forward to candid, substantive engagement with the federal government.


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 across Canada.

Prior to the pandemic, Canada’s airports supported nearly 200,000 jobs, generating $13 billion in wages and $7 billion in taxes to all levels of government.

For more information, please contact:

Debra Ward

Canadian Airports Council

613 274 0691 613 850 9118