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$4.14M in federal funding descends on northwestern Ontario airports

Airports in Sioux Lookout, Dryden, Red Lake, Kenora and Fort Frances receive pandemic pandemic relief money
Dryden Airport staff
(Dryden Regional Airport photo)

Five more Northern Ontario airports received federal relief funding to support their operations.

Airports in Sioux Lookout, Dryden, Red Lake, Kenora and Fort Frances raked in a collective $4.14 million from the Government of Canada's Regional Air Transportation Initiative.

Sioux Lookout landed $1,892,640, Dryden was airdropped $885,020, Red Lake fielded $702,578, Kenora was rerouted $439,512, and Fort Frances was parachuted in $225,705.

The money will alleviate financial pressures on these facilities brought about by reduced air and passenger traffic caused by the pandemic. All told, the government said the funding for these five airports keep a total of 32 people employed in northwestern Ontario.

Airports in Thunder Bay, Sault Ste. Marie, Sudbury and North Bay have all received a share of funding this summer from the $206-million federal program, established last March.

“Today’s announcement will help the Fort Frances, Red Lake, Kenora, Dryden and Sioux Lookout airports land on their feet and reconnect family friends and businesses following the COVID-19 pandemic," said Thunder Bay-Rainy River MP Marcus Powlowski in an Aug. 13 news release.

Sioux Lookout Mayor Doug Lawrance said the town's airport is an "important economic driver for our municipality and beyond serving as a regional transportation centre for people, goods and services that are distributed to the surrounding region, including 29 remote First Nation communities.

"It is also a critical transportation hub for professional services, including medical personnel employed by 17 nursing stations located throughout several of the remote northern communities. I would like to thank the Government of Canada and FedNor for this critical funding for our key community asset.”