The Government of Canada has launched two new funding programmes for the improvement of airport infrastructure in the country as it recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Over the past 15 months, Canadian airports have been experiencing major decreases in traffic.

With the launch of the new Airport Critical Infrastructure Program (ACIP) and Airport Relief Fund (ARF), the government intends to help the airport industry to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.

The new programmes were launched by the Canada Minister of Transport Omar Alghabra.

Under ACIP, the Government of Canada will offer $405m (C$490m) over five years to assist Canada’s larger airports with investments in critical infrastructure that is related to safety, security or connectivity.

The funding offered under this programme can be used for runway repairs and rehabilitation, airfield lighting enhancements, investments in terminal buildings and transit stations to ensure connectivity to mass transit systems.

Through ARF, the government will provide nearly $53m (C$65m) in financial relief to targeted airports in the country to help maintain operations.

Alghabra said: “Canada’s airports are major contributors to our country’s economy and play a key role in sustaining the social and economic well-being of our communities, and our local airport workers.

“These programmes will help ensure that, as Canada works towards recovery and travel restart post-pandemic, our airports remain viable and continue to provide Canadians with safe, reliable and efficient travel options while creating and maintaining good-paying jobs in the airport sector.”

In addition to these two schemes, the Minister said that Transport Canada’s Airports Capital Assistance Program (ACAP) will receive a funding top-up of $153m (C$186m) over two years.

ACAP offers financial assistance to Canada’s local and regional airports to improve safety-related infrastructure projects and for equipment purchases.