Airport crisis puts economic recovery

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Airport crisis puts economic recovery at risk: Crosbie
Crosbie says the air access crisis in the province needs a dedicated action plan to ensure economic recovery and population growth is possible once the COVID-19 pandemic subsides.
Monday, March 22, 2021

(March 22, 2021) – PC Leader Ches Crosbie says the air access crisis in the province needs a dedicated action plan to ensure economic recovery and population growth is possible once the COVID-19 pandemic subsides.

Crosbie met with the Board of Directors of the St. John’s Airport Authority last week, where he heard the alarming news.

St. John’s International Airport has seen a 75 per cent drop in passengers due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the pre-pandemic peak, there were over 80 daily flights from the airport to 24 destinations. Now, there are just ten daily flights to eight destinations – four of which are within Newfoundland and Labrador, according to the authority.

“Without a dedicated strategy to bring air routes back to our province, economic recovery becomes next to impossible. The more barriers there are to travelers and business into the province, the less prosperity the province will see in the post-pandemic world,” said Crosbie.

“A dedicated position within government for developing an air access strategy for the province was cut under the Liberals. A PC government would make this issue a top priority to ensure economic growth is possible for Newfoundland and Labrador.”

On top of the economic concerns, Crosbie says there’s also concern about what restricted access means
for population growth and immigration.

Last week, Statistics Canada reported a further population decline of 523 people in the fourth quarter of 2020. A mere 41 new immigrants are reported to have come to the province in the fourth quarter of 2020.

The province lost just over 3,100 people in 2020, according to allNewfoundlandLabrador.

“Air access is critical for population growth and retention. Newcomers to the province enjoy the security of knowing they can easily come and go from the province in the event of family emergencies. On top of that, CBC reported last week of rotational workers who are choosing to leave the province due to the difficulty and expense of getting here,” said Crosbie.

“The economic and demographic future of Newfoundland and Labrador relies on a robust plan to increase air accessibility. Not only will it ensure economic growth, but also population growth. Only a PC government has the plan and expertise needed to ensure the economic recovery of Newfoundland and Labrador is secure.”

 

Contacts:

David Maher

Director of Communications

(p) (709) 769-2216

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