Three Northwestern Ontario airports to share more than $941,000 from federal government to maintain regional connectivity and jobs

News release

Targeted FedNor support for regional transportation ecosystem in Kenora, Red Lake and Atikokan regions

March 18, 2022 – Kenora, ON – Federal Economic Development Agency for Northern Ontario – FedNor

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, affecting 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.

The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Indigenous Services and Minister responsible for FedNor, and Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay–Superior North, today announced more than $941,000 in financial support for three Northwestern Ontario airports. Of the total, the Kenora Airport Authority will receive $509,886, the Red Lake Airport $341,462 and the Township of Atikokan $90,000 for its municipal airport.

These non-repayable contributions will help mitigate the financial pressures brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic by supporting airports to replace and/or repair outdated equipment and implement modernization measures to improve operations. The projects are designed to enhance safety and maintain air service.

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.


“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 Patty Hajdu, Minister of Indigenous Services and Minister responsible for FedNor, and Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay–Superior North

“Today’s investment of more than $941,000 in safety and capital equipment will help the Kenora, Red Lake and Atikokan airports serve their respective communities and outlying regions. Furthermore, it will help maintain and grow critical economic development infrastructure and ensure the sustainability of regional air transport in the long-term.”

- Marcus Powlowski, Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay–Rainy River

“The Kenora Airport Authority is an essential component of community air transportation which includes emergency services, military operations, tourism, and the ferrying of professional services to 11 First Nation communities in the region. This investment to replace aging equipment and update systems at the airport to support critical operations will provide a safe and fully operational airport for the many people, businesses and communities that rely upon it.”

- Ryan Reynard, Chair, Kenora Airport Authority

Quick facts

  • The RATI, administered by the regional development agencies has a national budget of $206 million.

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

  • The RATI complements measures implemented by Transport Canada.

Associated links


Alison Murphy, Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Indigenous Services and Minister responsible for FedNor

Federal Economic Development Agency for Northern Ontario
Media Relations

Page details

Date modified: