Gander International Airport Authority Inc. is receiving $2.4 million from the federal government to maintain regional connectivity and jobs 

News release

Targeted ACOA support for Central Newfoundland’s air ecosystem will help maintain jobs, re-establish regional connections

August 6, 2021 · Gander, NL · Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA)

Regional air transportation is crucial to local economic growth, movement of goods and connectivity of Canadians across the country. The pandemic has had major impacts on regional air transportation ecosystems, impacting communities and local businesses from coast to coast to coast.

The Government of Canada’s Regional Air Transportation Initiative (RATI), launched in March 2021, supports access to air transportation and regional ecosystems. In particular, it enables the continuation of existing air routes and ensures airports remain operational and able to contribute to regional economic growth, while adapting to new post-COVID-19 realities and requirements.

Federal government supports operating capital, establishing routes

With this in mind, Scott Simms, Member of Parliament for Coast of Bays-Central-Notre Dame, on behalf of the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for ACOA, today announced $2.4 million in financial support for the Gander International Airport Authority Inc. (GIAA).

The GIAA operates the Gander International Airport, providing safe and accessible aviation services and facilities to the travelling public and businesses of Central Newfoundland. This non-repayable contribution will enable the GIAA to maintain operations and essential services and continue collaborating with various carriers to re-establish routes, flight frequencies and capacity to the region, while at the same time maintaining 23 full-time jobs.

Regional air transportation is key to the economic development of communities and businesses right across Canada. It is essential to connecting Canadians living in both rural and remote communities to urban centres, delivering Canadian goods to the global market and welcoming international visitors to all parts of the country, when it is safe to do so.


“It is important to protect our regional air transportation ecosystems for the thousands of workers employed by this sector and for the many businesses and communities that depend on it. We know that air connectivity to all regions is essential to healthy, inclusive economic growth and supporting it is part of our plan to build back a stronger, more resilient economy.”
- The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for ACOA

“Gander International Airport is recognized around the world for its place in aviation history, and locally recognized as a critical piece of infrastructure that supports business growth, economic development and cultural connectivity in our local communities. This funding will help the Gander International Airport Authority protect jobs that are vital to maintaining the skilled workforce needed to thrive and grow, as we move towards a post-pandemic recovery. I look forward to seeing the Gander International Airport thriving once again as we welcome those who come from away and wish safe travels to Newfoundlanders and Labradorians as they set off to travel near and far.”  
- Scott Simms, Member of Parliament for Coast of Bays-Central-Notre Dame

“We welcome today’s announcement, which provides meaningful support to our airport and community – both of which have been hard hit by the pandemic. Regional air service is essential to connecting Canada and ensuring the economic vitality of rural regions. We are happy to be on a path to recovery. Better days are on the horizon as we rebuild route networks and revitalize our sector.”
- Reg Wright, President and CEO, Gander International Airport Authority Inc.

Quick facts

  • The Regional Air Transportation Initiative (RATI), administered by the regional development agencies (RDAs), has a national budget of $206 million.

  • The Initiative supports regional air ecosystems—which include regional air carriers and airports, as well as SMEs and non-profit organizations—in developing and implementing enhanced services for improved regional connectivity.

  • The RATI complements measures implemented by Transport Canada.

  • The Gander International Airport Authority Inc. (GIAA) is a not for profit organization created in 1996 to manage operations at the Gander International Airport (CYQX). The GIAA has operated the airport since March 1, 2001, when it assumed control from Transport Canada.

Associated links


Catherine Mounier-Desrochers

Press Secretary

Office of the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages

Julie Afonso

Manager, Communications

Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, Newfoundland and Labrador


Reg Wright

President and CEO

Gander International Airport Authority


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