Saskatoon’s John G. Diefenbaker Airport has seen a 70% decrease in passengers since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. The Government of Canada will fund the airport with $1.7 million from the program essential airport infrastructure as assistance.
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport, Annie Koutrakis, announced on Monday (August 22, 2022) that with the help of the funding, she will allow the expansion of one of the airport’s aprons, where planes park , to create additional space for the movement of larger aircraft, such as cargo planes. Currently the airport is using the money to renovate a new, larger baggage claim area (which will be completed very soon) which will allow for increased circulation for passengers trying to find their bags and to physically distance themselves from each other. .
This funding is in addition to the $10.9 million provided under the program in August 2021.
The federal government has also provided the airport with $2.8 million from Transport Canada’s Airport Assistance Fund to help maintain essential airport operations and air services for Saskatoon.
Annie Koutrakis says, “Saskatoon’s John G. Diefenbaker International Airport is a transportation hub for much of central and northern Saskatchewan. It connects family and friends, helps travelers discover new destinations and is a vital trade corridor for many Saskatchewan businesses. This funding will improve airport safety for travellers, crews and airport workers, while supporting jobs and our regional economy.
The two funding programs that are helping Saskatoon International Airport were launched in May 2021. Together, they will distribute $636 million to airports across Canada to help recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. Airport officials predict the Saskatoon terminal won’t see the same number of passengers as it did in pre-COVID 2019 until 2024.