March 30, 2020 – Ottawa, Ontario – Department of Finance Canada
The Government of Canada is taking strong, immediate and effective action to protect Canadians and our economy from the impacts of the global COVID-19 pandemic.
The air transportation sector has been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. As governments around the world impose border restrictions and advise their citizens against non-essential travel to protect people’s health, the sector has faced significant declines in air passenger traffic, staff layoffs, and grounding of planes.
Today, Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced that the government is waiving ground lease rents from March 2020 through to December 2020 for the 21 airport authorities that pay rent to the federal government. The government will also provide comparable treatment for PortsToronto, which operates Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport and pays a charge to the federal government. This support will help airports reduce cost pressures and preserve their cash flow as they deal with the effects of COVID-19 on their revenue streams. This will provide relief up to $331.4 million, reflecting payments in the same period of 2018.
These measures are part of the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan – a comprehensive plan to help ensure that Canadians can pay for essentials like mortgages, rent and groceries, and to help businesses continue to pay their employees and their bills during this time of uncertainty.
The government continues to assess and respond to the impact of COVID-19, and stands ready to take additional actions as needed to stabilize the economy and mitigate the impacts of the pandemic.