Enhancement of the Airports Capital Assistance Program

Backgrounder

May 2021

The Airports Capital Assistance Program (ACAP) is an existing contribution funding program which provides financial assistance to regional airports for safety-related capital infrastructure projects and equipment to help ensure the continued safe operation of the airports for passengers, air crews and airport employees.

Through the Fall Economic Statement 2020, ACAP is receiving a one-time top-up funding of $186 million over two years ($93 million in 2021-2022, and $93 million in 2022-2023). This financial support will help ensure that Canada’s smaller airports can immediately carry out required safety improvements despite revenue losses due to COVID-19.

Eligibility for ACAP has also been temporarily expanded over the next two years to allow National Airport System airports with less than one million annual passengers in 2019 (Gander, Charlottetown, Saint John, Fredericton, Moncton, Thunder Bay, London, and Prince George) to apply for funding under the Program. In addition, the minimum federal cost-sharing ratio is being increased to 50% over the same period.

The ACAP funds projects under existing eligibility criteria based on three priority levels.

  • First priority: Safety-related airside projects such as rehabilitation of runways, taxiways, aprons, associated lighting, visual aids, sand storage sheds, utilities to service eligible items, related site preparation costs including directly associated environmental costs, equipment and equipment shelters which are necessary to maintain the airport’s level of Aircraft Firefighting Services or Aircraft Emergency Intervention Services protection as required by regulation.
  • Second priority: Heavy airside mobile equipment such as snowblowers, snowplows, sweepers, spreaders, winter runway friction testing devices, and equipment shelters.
  • Third priority: Air terminal building/groundside projects such as sprinkler systems, asbestos removal, and barrier-free access.

The deadline for applications for 2021-2022 ACAP funding was January 31, 2021.

For 2021-2022, Transport Canada has allocated ACAP funding to 63 airports for 86 ACAP projects, including runway and taxiway repairs/rehabilitation, lighting enhancements, purchasing snow clearing equipment and firefighting vehicles and installing wildlife fencing.

Eligible airports are invited to submit a request for 2022-23 ACAP funding to Transport Canada until August 31, 2021.

More information on the ACAP, including eligibility requirements and the funding application process, as well as a list of projects being funded through the Program in 2021/22, can be found here: Airports Capital Assistance Program.

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