St. John’s International Airport Authority is receiving $11.8 million from federal government to maintain regional connectivity and jobs

News release

Targeted ACOA support for the St. John’s region air ecosystem will help maintain jobs, re-establish regional connections

August 9, 2021 · St. John’s, NL · Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA)

Regional air transportation is crucial to local economic growth, the movement of goods and the 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, the Honourable Seamus O’Regan Jr., Minister of Natural Resources and Member of Parliament for St. John’s South-Mount Pearl, on behalf of the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for ACOA, today announced $11.8 million in financial support for the St. John’s International Airport Authority (SJIAA). Ken McDonald, Member of Parliament for Avalon, also spoke at the event.

The SJIAA operates the St. John’s International Airport, providing safe and accessible aviation services and facilities to the travelling public and businesses of Eastern Newfoundland. The airport is the main gateway for Newfoundland and Labrador and is a catalyst for economic development. This non-repayable contribution will enable the SJIAA to maintain operations and essential services and continue collaborating with various carriers to re-establish routes to the region, while at the same time maintaining 85 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 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. 

Quotes

“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

 

“St. John’s International Airport is critical to our Province - it’s our gateway to the rest of Canada and the world. We’re investing in it so it can continue welcoming travellers to support our local businesses and communities, and we can keep drumming up business nationally and internationally.”

- The Honourable Seamus O’Regan Jr., Minister of Natural Resources and Member of Parliament for St. John’s South-Mount Pearl

 

“I am delighted our government is investing in St. John’s International Airport to support its operations and protect jobs that are vital to maintaining the skilled workforce needed to grow and thrive. This funding will make a real difference as the airport adapts to the new post-COVID reality. Resiliency has always defined Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, and we are ready to get back to the business of building a better future for all.”

- Ken McDonald, Member of Parliament for Avalon


“This funding not only plays an integral role to help sustain our Airport operations, it is vital in supporting our province’s economic recovery. Our Airport provides connectivity to the rest of the country and the world - a necessity for growth and opportunities for the people of Newfoundland and Labrador. This investment is a lifeline for our Airport – it helps us to reduce our amassing debt, allowing us to remain competitive in furthering air service recovery and development.”

- Peter Avery, Chief Executive Officer, St. John’s International Airport

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.

  • Established in 1998, the St. John’s International Airport Authority is a private, not-for-profit corporation responsible for the management, maintenance and development of the St. John’s International Airport, and plays a significant role in facilitating the economic growth and development of the region. Pre-COVID, the St. John’s International Airport served over 1.5 million passengers annually.

Associated links

Contacts

Catherine Mounier-Desrocher

Press Secretary

Office of the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages

catherine.mounier-desrochers@canada.ca


Paul McGrath

Director of Communications

Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, Newfoundland and Labrador

709-689-5731

paul.mcgrath@acoa-apeca.gc.ca


Lisa Bragg

Director, Business Development and Marketing

St. John’s International Airport Authority

709-758-8564

LBragg@stjohnsairport.com

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