Canadian airports of similar size to the Timmins Victor M. Power Airport have been told “no” by the federal government, to a plea for money.

Dave Dayment is the airport manager in Timmins.  He says the airports are suffering financial losses in the 90% range, due to COVID-19 and the resulting reduced traffic.

Dayment notes that although administered by the city, his airport does not draw from the municipal tax base.

“If we were to balance our budget, we’d have to increase our fees by over 60% and that would just chase away traffic,” he states. That money comes from things like landing fees for airlines.

(Bob McIntyre, staff)

Dayment says he’s working on attracting revenue and finding savings.  One way is limited winter maintenance on the second runway, to save fuel and wear-and-tear on equipment.

“I’m not bringing back five of my seasonal staff,” he adds. “So there’s certainly a trickle effect and it’s affecting people’s jobs and livelihoods, unfortunately.”

Dayment says the country’s biggest, busiest airport – Toronto Pearson – is also reducing runway maintenance and laying off staff.

The government says it’s working on a package for northern airports.  But the ones in Timmins, North Bay, Sudbury and the Soo are not considered “northern”.