Sault Ste. Marie Airport Corporation is receiving more than $2.15M from federal government to maintain regional connectivity

From: FedNor

July 28, 2021 – Sault Ste. Marie, ON – Federal Economic Development Initiative 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.

Terry Sheehan, Member of Parliament for Sault Ste. Marie, on behalf of the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for FedNor, today announced more than $2.15 million in financial support for the Sault Ste. Marie Airport Development Corporation (SSMADC). This non-repayable contribution will help mitigate the financial pressures brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic by supporting the operations of the Sault Ste. Marie airport for a one-year period. The project is expected to help maintain 13 local jobs.

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 Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for FedNor

“Today’s investment of more than $2.15 million will help secure the ongoing operations of the Sault Ste. Marie Airport, an essential service and key economic driver for the people and businesses of Sault Ste. Marie and the entire region. Our government continues to make strategic investments to ensure that our economy recovers from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and rebounds even stronger than ever before.”

– Terry Sheehan, Member of Parliament for Sault Ste. Marie and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for FedNor

“The Sault Ste. Marie Airport is a socio-economic lifeline for our residents and businesses, and this FedNor funding will help to ensure that it continues to play a key role in our economic recovery and future growth. I’m pleased that the Government of Canada understands the importance of this key local asset and is investing to secure its sustainability.”

– Christian Provenzano, Mayor of Sault Ste. Marie

“I wish to thank the Government of Canada for this important investment through FedNor that will enable us to keep operating efficiently for the benefit of the communities and businesses we serve. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on the air travel and transportation industry, and support through the federal Regional Air Transportation Initiative will help bring stability to our facility and sector.”

– Jerry Dolcetti, Chair, Sault Ste. Marie Airport Development Corporation

Quick facts

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

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

  • The RATI complements measures implemented by Transport Canada.

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