YLW receives federal funding

February 22, 2022

News Release

Kelowna International Airport is receiving funding to support the airport’s operations. YLW administrators welcomed an announcement Tuesday by the Hon. Harjit Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for Pacific Economic Development Canada that the federal government will provide more than $3.2 million to the Kelowna International Airport from the Regional Air Transportation Initiative (RATI). This provides funding for essential routine maintenance and facility operations associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.   

“Air transportation is essential to community well-being, regional economic development, and the prosperity of all Canadians. Today’s announcement will not only enhance airport safety and support our essential services; it will also create jobs that British Columbians can rely on and bolster regional growth as we recover from the effects of the pandemic,” said Minister Sajjan.  “It is essential that different levels of government partner to stimulate the economy as we recover from COVID-19,” said Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran. “The Kelowna International Airport plays a critical role in supporting economic development in Kelowna and the region.”  

The Government of Canada’s Regional Air Transportation Initiative, launched in March 2021, fosters access to air transportation and supports regional ecosystems. In particular, it enables regional air carriers and airports to remain operational in these difficult times and to continue to contribute to regional economic growth, while adapting to new post-COVID-19 realities and requirements.  

“In my role as Airports Council International - North America Chair, I am working with my colleagues across North America as our industry recovers from COVID-19,” said, Sam Samaddar, Kelowna International Airport Director. “Investments in aviation, such as the one being made by the federal government today, not only support the recovery of these airports and airlines, but also their surrounding communities.”  

Along with the funding provided to the Kelowna International Airport, Minister Sajjan also announced funding for 12 other regional airports and air carriers in B.C. This investment will enable these airports and air carriers to overcome some of challenges that have resulted from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Regional air transportation is key to the economic development of communities and businesses across Canada. These critical hubs play a crucial role in British Columbia’s inclusive economic recovery by maintaining vital links between rural communities and urban centres, and keeping businesses connected to their customers and suppliers.  

“Thank you to the federal government for providing funding to these regional airports and airlines in B.C.,” said Monette Pasher, Canadian Airports Council Interim President. “This funding is critical to maintain and rebuild connectivity throughout Canada.”