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Feds announce $81.6 million in funding for Canada’s largest airports

OTTAWA — The federal government has announced new funding for Canada’s biggest airports, to help facilitate air travel amid COVID-19 testing and other requirements.

Transport Minister Omar Alghabra launched the new contribution funding stream under Transport Canada’s Airport Critical Infrastructure Program. This new Biosecurity Funding Stream will provide $81.6 million to support Canada’s major airports with investments in COVID-19 testing and screening infrastructure.

The funding is aimed to help facilitate the safe restart of air travel in a way that limits the transmission of COVID-19 and protects travellers and workers.

“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. This funding will allow major airports across Canada to invest in the infrastructure and tools needed to help re-invigorate the aviation industry and allow Canadians to feel safe when they travel,” said Alghabra.

The 26 major Canadian airports eligible for funding under the Biosecurity Funding Stream represented 93% of the volume of air passenger traffic in Canada in 2019.

Projects eligible for funding under the Biosecurity Funding Stream include:

  • Infrastructure investments for the establishment of COVID-19 health testing and screening facilities
  • Improvements to airport flow and zoning to better manage the movements of people and physical distancing requirements to, from, and at the testing and screening facilities
  • Tools to inform travellers and workers of the existence and operating hours of health testing and screening facilities, to direct them to the facility, and to notify them of procedures related to the flow, zoning, testing and screening
  • Technological aids to assist with traveller and worker notification, testing and screening, and the processing of related results