July 27, 2021 – Windsor, Ontario
Regional air transportation is crucial to local economic growth, the movement of people and goods across the country and maintaining operations with our trading partners. 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) 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.
Targeted support for Windsor air transportation ecosystem
With this in mind, the Honourable Irek Kusmierczyk, Member of Parliament for Windsor-Tecumseh, on behalf of the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), today announced a non-repayable contribution of $1.02 million for the Windsor International Airport, operated by Your Quick Getaway Inc. (YQG).
The Windsor International Airport is centrally located within the City of Windsor, the 16th largest census metropolitan area in Canada. Serving a population of about 420,000 people in the Windsor-Essex region and at an opportune location bordering the United States, the airport is important to the region’s economic connectivity. This investment will help the airport to connect to more destinations and manage increased passenger volumes as Canadians return to air travel. The support will go towards making HVAC upgrades, acquiring ramp equipment, as well as supplies, signage and barriers to make the airport safer for travel, and building renovations. This project will also support critical operational services, reinstate regional air routes and maintain jobs in the Windsor region.
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.
“Windsor is an international city with a prime location, great economic prospects and a highly-skilled, diverse population. With strong linkages to the US and surrounding manufacturing industries, Windsor’s regional air transportation infrastructure fosters economic growth and regional connectivity. Through this investment in the Windsor International Airport, the Government of Canada will help bolster the region’s air transportation ecosystem and strengthen connectivity, supporting a strong and prosperous future for this unique region of Ontario.”
– The Honourable Irek Kusmierczyk, Member of Parliament for Windsor-Tecumseh
“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 FedDev Ontario
“As we recover from the pandemic, regional connectivity will be of paramount importance. We thank the Government of Canada for their support as YQG enhances regional connectivity.”
– Drew Dilkens, Mayor of Windsor and Chair of the YQG Board of Directors
“The Government of Canada’s Regional Air Transportation Initiative will help YQG modernize, adapt and improve operations for our patrons.”
– Mark Galvin, Chief Executive Officer of YQG, Windsor International Airport
The Windsor International Airport (operated by YQG) is the only business and general aviation airport serving the surrounding communities of Essex and Chatham-Kent, situated on an international border between Canada and the United States, with a population approaching 7.7 million within a 45 minute drive.
Recognizing the profound impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the air transportation sector, the Government of Canada introduced the Regional Air Transportation Initiative (RATI) to help businesses and organizations in regional air transportation ecosystems to remain operational through these difficult times and continue to support the economic growth of our regions.
With a national budget of $206 million over two years, Canada’s regional development agencies (RDAs) are delivering this support, with FedDev Ontario delivering $24.2 million in southern Ontario. The RATI complements the measures in Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan.
The Initiative supports regional air ecosystems-which include regional air carriers and airports, as well as SMEs and not-for-profit organizations-in developing and implementing enhanced services for improved regional connectivity.
The RATI complements measures implemented by Transport Canada.
Since November 1, 2015, FedDev Ontario has invested over $82 million in 92 projects in the Essex region.