National Airports Policy

National Airports Policy

Policy and regulations (non-NAS airports)

  • Under the terms of the National Airports Policy, all airports that handle fewer than 200,000 travellers a year for three consecutive years will be considered a regional/local airport unless they serve the national capital or provincial or territorial capitals. Ownership and operation of these regional/local airports will be assumed by provincial, local or private-sector interests as appropriate. These airports account for six per cent of all scheduled passenger and cargo traffic in Canada.
  • While relinquishing its role as owner, operator and financier of these airports, Transport Canada will continue to ensure that certified airports, regardless of ownership, operate in a safe, secure and effective manner.
  • The federal government will continue to set safety standards for all Canadian airports. The means to accomplish this are already in place and include policy, setting, airport transfer agreements, airport certification and regulation.
  • Local entities will be permitted to adjust service levels to more accurately reflect local demands and resources, thereby improving operational efficiencies and the overall viability of the airport.
  • An Airports Capital Assistance Program (ACAP) will be created to allow for safety related capital restoration and replacement projects for airside infrastructure at these sites. In addition to ACAP, the wider application of user fees and charges will provide funding to the local entities without imposing a significant financial burden on them.
  • Emergency response services will be regulated based on the frequency and size of aircraft serving the airport. Busier certified airports will be required to meet specific response requirements while smaller, less-busy certified airports must continue to have emergency response plans based on local capabilities.
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