Funding application submitted to try to land new carrier at Sarnia airport

The sign in front of Sarnia's Chris Hadfield Airport. (Photo from the City of Sarnia's facebook page)

The City of Sarnia and Scottsdale Aviation have submitted a funding application to try to land a new airline carrier for Chris Hadfield Airport.

FedDev Ontario is expected to administer $24.2 million, of $206 million dollars allocated by the federal government, to southern Ontario.

Economic Development Director Kelly Provost said an application was submitted to the Regional Air Transportation Initiative [RATI] April 30.

“We know the industry has had a really profound impact as a result of the pandemic and these funds are meant to help airports and carriers stay operational so that they can contribute to the local economies and reconnect that service,” said Provost. “So, when we saw that announcement, we were quite excited about putting an application forward.”

Provost said part of the funds they’ve requested would be used to attract and incentivize a new carrier to provide scheduled service to Sarnia.

“It’s really meant to help decrease some of the costs that they might experience, while we build that capacity in the passenger numbers for the new service. There are funds included as well that would help provide the necessary equipment and the small scale infrastructure improvements needed to suit the new fleet size of a new carrier here.”

Provost said they’ve had a number of positive conversations with a few different scheduled service providers already.

She said FedDev indicated that priority would be given to applications received by the end of last month, however a deadline for a decision on those submitted has not been provided.

Provost said projects under the fund must take place before March 31, 2022.