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, Yvonne Jones, Member of Parliament for Labrador, on behalf of the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for ACOA, today announced $1.7 million in financial support for the Goose Bay Airport Corporation (GBAC).
GBAC manages and operates the civilian aviation area at the airport in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, providing safe and accessible aviation services and facilities to the travelling public and businesses of Labrador. GBAC also operates the water base facilities at Otter Creek, which is used by floatplanes to service multiple industries. This non-repayable contribution will enable the GBAC to maintain operations and essential services and continue collaborating with various carriers to re-establish routes, flight frequencies and capacity to the region. It will also maintain four full-time jobs with the corporation.
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
“The Goose Bay Airport is vital to the health and vitality of Labrador, supporting business growth and economic development for some of the most remote northern communities in Canada. This funding will help the Goose Bay Airport Corporation protect jobs and reconnect people with the opportunities needed for this region to thrive and grow, as we move towards a post-pandemic recovery. From fishing to mining to tourism, Goose Bay Airport is critical to our connectivity and our prosperity. I look forward to seeing it abuzz with activity once again.”
– Yvonne Jones, Member of Parliament for Labrador
”The importance of maintaining predictable operations at the Goose Bay Airport during the pandemic was critically important for both health and employment reasons. The support announced today by the Government of Canada will go a long way in aiding our recovery and supporting the growing travel needs of our residents and our dynamic region!”
– Paul Snelgrove, Chair, Goose Bay Airport Corporation