Canadian airports are calling on the Canadian federal government for assistance to battle the travel-disruption caused by COVID-19, including rent relief for at least one year, to allow airports to redeploy these funds to continue operations and support their recovery strategies.
Based on preliminary assessments by the Airports Council International – North America (ACI-NA), the COVID-19 outbreak will now significantly set back Canadian airports from previously forecasted stable growth prospects. A total potential loss of C$853 million (US$584 million) to C$1.3 billion (US$890 million) is expected in 2020 at CAC member airports. However, this number is subject to change as new events unfold.
Canada’s airports have identified actions it wants the government to take to provide short-term financial relief to get through the immediate cash flow challenges, and longer-term recovery initiatives to stimulate travel and the local economy once the crisis is past. Those actions include:
- Rent relief of at least one year, to allow airports to redeploy these funds to continue operations and support their recovery strategies
- Financial relief for reduced cash flow – to help airports that do not remit rent, and address the mounting costs incurred to stream international travellers through a smaller number of airports.
- Boost funding for infrastructure and tourism initiatives already in place such as the National Trade Corridor Fund, the Airports Capital Assistance Program and Destination Canada.
“The operational and financial challenges Canada’s airports are facing from COVID-19 are unlike anything the industry has seen,” the CAC says. “The impact is being felt by airports of all sizes as the effects of travel restrictions and self-isolation slow travel across the country. Our plans for recovery have to begin now.”