Melanie Borrelli, CTV Windsor Web Writer / Reporter | November 3, 2021
WINDSOR, ONT. –
Windsor International Airport is not included in the federal government’s new list of Canadian airports able to accept international flights as of Nov. 30.
Transport Canada announced Tuesday the easing of the restrictions on international flight arrivals, but Windsor was left off the list of eight additional airports.
Effective on Nov. 30, 2021, international flights carrying passengers will be permitted to land at the following additional Canadian airports:
- St. John’s International
- John C. Munro Hamilton International
- Region of Waterloo International
- Regina International
- Saskatoon John G. Diefenbaker International
- Kelowna International
- Abbotsford International
- Victoria International
The decision to leave YQG off the list is a financial blow to the City of Windsor.
“People from Windsor can cross the border, catch a flight from Detroit or one of the surrounding airports in Michigan but they can’t fly to international destinations from their own airport. It makes no sense whatsoever,” councillor Fred Francis who also serves as YQG board director said.
The city faces a $13 million deficit, a large part of it coming from YQG according to Francis.
“It adds to the deficit we have and then you don’t tell us if you’re going to give us money to make us whole again,” he said. “It’s either one or the other. Either give us money to make us whole again or you don’t cut us off at the knees and let us run our airport like we can where it makes money.”
YQG airport CEO says losing revenue from flights isn’t the only issue.
“It’s not just the flights. It’s the revenue from parking from all those kinds of things and it’s something that you’re looking at three to four flights a week, the 737 going to those destinations so it’s a significant revenue impact to us,” said Mark Galvin, CEO YQG Airport.
Sunwing had issued a statement in May announcing the return of sun destinations departing from Windsor this winter. It is unknown if further restrictions will be lifted to allow these flights to take off.
“Sunwing sun destinations to Cuba, Dominican Republic, which we’ve enjoyed seasonly for years and they were ready to go,” Galvin said.
The government said “consideration will be given to adding additional airports as conditions dictate, based on demand, operational capacity, the epidemiological situation in Canada, and recommendations from the Public Health Agency of Canada.”
The 10 Canadian airports currently accepting international flights are: Halifax Stanfield International, Québec City Jean Lesage International, Montréal-Trudeau International, Ottawa/Macdonald–Cartier International, Toronto Pearson International, Billy Bishop Toronto City Centre, Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International, Edmonton International, Calgary International, and Vancouver International.
The news comes after the YQG control tower was to be part of a study by Nav Can in an effort to safely streamline its operations.
Earlier this year, the group announced air traffic control would not be removed from the airport.
“We still don’t know the specific reasons for the second time so how do you fix something when you’re actually not provided a list of the things that are wrong,” Windsor West MP Brian Masse said.
Masse penned a letter to the minister of transport calling for an explanation as to why Windsor was not approved and for the situation to be corrected before “fundamental market structure damage becomes permanent.”
He also notes the City of Windsor has suffered “significant economic repercussions” due to the closure of international passenger traffic, and residents have had to travel hours to alternative travel areas and business has also been lost due to complications of connections to supply and demand issues.
“This has impacted the local vendors of the airport that provide private aviation services to the business workforce. Accordingly, this has led to large revenue losses for the City of Windsor as the owner of YQG,” Masse said.
He says the resident and municipality are owed an explanation for the decision and what can be done to allow international air passenger service to be restored.
“This is ridiculous. They certainly should come to Windsor because based on what I’m seeing and the reasoning, they have no idea what’s happening in Windsor,” Francis said.
– With files from CTV Windsor’s Angelo Aversa