National Airports Policy

National Airports Policy

Arctic airports

Current Situation

  • The federal government now owns and operates 11 Arctic Airports -- nine in the Northwest Territories and two in the Yukon (see Appendix A).
  • The federal government is negotiating the transfer of the nine Arctic airports in the Northwest Territories to the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT).
  • The intent is to transfer the entire airport program, including all associated funding, to the GNWT through the formula-funding agreement between the Government of Canada and the territorial government. This agreement sets the terms of funding provided by the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development to the GNWT for its operation.
  • The federal government is awaiting the Yukon government's decision on entering into similar transfer discussions.

Arctic Airports and the National Airports Policy

  • If discussions do not result in the transfer of the Arctic airports to the respective territorial governments, these airports will be included in the appropriate National Airports Policy (NAP) category and dealt with accordingly.
  • Yellowknife and Whitehorse airports would be included in the National Airports System (NAS) because they serve territorial capitals.
  • Fort Smith, Hay River, Fort Simpson and Watson Lake airports would be added to the regional/local category.
  • The remaining six airports would be remote sites.
  • It is possible that a third Arctic airport will be included in the NAS if a third territory, Nunavut, is created. The airport serving the capital of the new territory will be added to the current listing of 26 NAS airports.
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