The Canadian government has announced a series of funding agreements to help its airports to recover from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Canada’s minister of transport, Omar Alghabra, announced close to C$24.7m to help Edmonton International Airport recover from the pandemic and to support air services and infrastructure projects at the airport.
The government is providing Edmonton with almost C$18.5m from Transport Canada’s Airport Critical Infrastructure Program for improvements including upgrades to runways and airfield lighting. The work will begin in late 2021 and is expected to be completed in 2024.
In addition to the funding for the critical infrastructure projects, the government is also providing the airport with C$6.2m from Transport Canada’s Airport Relief Fund to help it maintain continued airport operations and essential air services for residents and workers in Edmonton and surrounding communities.
A further C$12.7m in relief funding has also been pledged to Winnipeg Richardson International Airport.
Almost C$7m of the investment will be used to fund critical infrastructure improvements including the rehabilitation of taxiways, other airfield surfaces and access roads.
The remainder of the money will come from Transport Canada’s Airport Relief Fund to maintain airport operations and rebuild the region’s connectivity.
Alghabra said, “As we move forward with the safe gradual return of activity in the aviation sector, both in Canada and internationally, in a way that continues to support the health, safety and security of all Canadians, it will be imperative that we continue to ensure a vibrant and competitive Canadian air sector. These critical investments at the Edmonton International Airport will help maintain airport and passenger safety and security and improve operational efficiency and connectivity by ensuring the airport continues to meet all federal safety standards.”
Edmonton International Airport president and CEO Tom Ruth added, “Edmonton Airport is essential for the economic recovery of the Edmonton Metropolitan Region, Alberta and Northern Canada. Restoring strong, international air service is an imperative for our business community, the tourism visitor economy and passengers. This important federal funding will help us maintain operations and start infrastructure improvements to enhance safety.”