The Government of Canada has agreed to provide financial aid to Thunder Bay International Airports Authority (TBIAA) to mitigate the Covid-19 impact.

The non-repayable contribution of $2.7m (C$3.5m) will help the airport maintain operations and continue regional connectivity while helping to maintain more than 27 local jobs.

Thunder Bay International Airports Authority Board chair Dave Siciliano said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has caused major disruptions and economic woes for the air transportation sector and the Thunder Bay International Airport has not been spared.

“I wish to recognise the Government of Canada for this important investment through FedNor that will help us continue to service the communities and businesses of this region.”

This financial contribution will ensure the continuation of existing air routes and support regional economic growth while allowing the airport to adapt to new post-Covid-19 requirements.

The Regional Air Transportation Initiative (RATI) supports regional air ecosystems such as regional air carriers and airports, as well as small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and non-profit organisations.

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Thunder Bay Mayor Bill Mauro said: “The Thunder Bay airport is both an essential economic driver and a vital community resource for the residents, and businesses of Thunder Bay and neighbouring regions.

“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 local asset and is investing to secure its sustainability.”

Earlier this week, the Government of Canada agreed to provide around $13.5m in funding to Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport to help it recover from the pandemic and fuel growth.

Of the total amount, $9.9m will be provided under the National Trade Corridors Fund (NTCF) to be used for the development of an air cargo centre.