Canadian airports to work with new government to restore air service
With the announcement of a new federal Cabinet, Canada’s airports will continue its efforts to safely restore air service to communities across the country.
Canada’s airports’ efforts to safely restore air service to communities across the country has taken a step forward with the announcement of the new federal Cabinet.
While there are many changes, Omar Alghabra will continue in his role as Minister of Transport, a position he first assumed in January 2021.
“We are very pleased that Minister Alghabra will remain at Transport,” said Daniel-Robert Gooch, President of the Canadian Airports Council. “He has been a strong partner, working with the aviation sector on the new vaccine mandate, as well as the new funding programmes available to airports. With Alghabra in staying in place, we can continue our important work to restore air service to Canadians without undue delays. We also look forward to continuing our work with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Chrystia Freeland on economic growth.”
Some changes may take time to work through. “One of our key cabinet partners, Melanie Joly, who was instrumental in recovery strategies for the tourism and travel sector, has moved on to Foreign Affairs. While we will miss her passion and commitment, we look forward to working with the new Tourism Minister, Randy Boissonnault, to complete the important tasks of reopening the sector safely.”
As well as Boissonnault, other new ministers who are important to air travel’s sustainable recovery include Jean-Yves Duclos who has been appointed Minister of Health, Marco Mendicino, who takes on the portfolio of Public Safety and Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change.
“The government will be dealing with many challenges during this session of Parliament,’ commented Gooch. “From our perspective, the most important consideration is that the new government needs to move quickly on its strategies to reopen Canada to travel, tourism, and trade.”
While federal airport programme funds began to flow in the months leading up to the election, a great deal of work was left unfinished. With the election behind us, the Canadian Airports Council is collaborating with industry partners to get the new federal government to the table quickly. Every day that safe air access is delayed is a blow to airports’ fragile recovery.
Gooch further added: “The good news is that more people are flying to and in Canada, but 2021 traffic to the end of August is only 17 per cent of 2019 levels. Airports are losing hundreds of millions of dollars, and are still financially devastated. Until full service is restored, the role of federal government to support our essential airport network will continue.”
Seamless and efficient international and domestic air service is crucial to rebuilding Canada’s economy and restoring jobs. “International tourism and trade contributes millions of jobs and billions of dollars to this country,” said Gooch. “We need to restore Canada’s standing as one of the world’s leading trade and tourism nations by rebuilding a competitive and sustainable airport network.”
Canada’s airports are asking the federal government to partner to meet safety, security, and climate goal targets; restore international air access to dozens of communities; work with the U.S. to restore Canada-U.S. preclearance, and to help airports deal with crippling COVID-19-related debt.
“Our goal is to build a dynamic and resilient air system that is one of the greenest in the world. It won’t happen overnight, but as long as we continue to have the support of our government, we will get there. We look forward to working with the new government rebuild and grow our economy,” added Gooch.