Airports Capital Assistance Program
Airports play a vital role in Canada. Regional airports feed our urban international airports, which link Canada to international destinations and markets. Airports in the North are the best way to move people and goods throughout these enormous and sparsely populated areas.
In the regions, air transportation plays an important role in creating jobs and increasing productivity in several economic sectors. In addition to supporting personal travel and tourism, regional airports provide:
- essential air services, including air ambulance, search and rescue, and forest fire response;
- scheduled and charter air services that link communities to regional, national and international markets for goods, services, tourists; and
- commercial air services such as aerial photography and flying schools, and corporate aircraft and general aviation.
Of Canada's 570 certified aerodromes, only a dozen handle more than one million passengers a year. The rest, our smaller regional airports, play an essential role in Canada's air transportation sector, but can struggle to raise enough revenue to keep their facilities safe and secure, and their equipment and runways in good condition.
The Airports Capital Assistance Program (ACAP) began in 1995, to help regional airports pay for up to 100% of projects aimed at improving safety, protecting assets and reducing operating costs.
Eligible airports are not owned by the federal government and offer year-round regularly scheduled passenger flights. Today, approximately 200 regional and local airports are eligible for ACAP funding.
ACAP funds projects from three priority categories:
- 1st priority: safety-related airside projects such as rehabilitation of runways, taxiways and aprons, improvements to electrical and lighting systems, and the purchase of aircraft firefighting vehicles
- 2nd priority: heavy airside mobile equipment and safety-related items such as runway snowblowers, snowplows and runway sweepers
- 3rd priority: air terminal building/groundside safety-related projects such as wildlife fencing, sprinkler systems, asbestos removal, and barrier-free access
The Government of Canada has invested more than $709 million for 835 projects at 176 airports since the ACAP began. This is an excellent example of the Government of Canada directing infrastructure resources to where they are most needed and can best enhance safety. Our investments in regional airports are helping to improve access to safe and efficient transportation options, and delivering on our commitment to building safer, healthier and stronger communities across Canada.
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