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City to help airport during pandemic

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North Bay’s Jack Garland Airport will continue to operate with the help of the city.

Last week, the city-run airport had asked for a $200,000 monthly subsidy to help cover a sharp drop in revenue. The airport had forecasted a 70-80 per cent decline in revenue due to the suspension of air service from its largest scheduled provider.

Although not named, Air Canada had announced it’s Toronto to North Bay flights would be grounded until May 31.

“The revenue stream from the passengers is gone,” Mayor Al McDonald said. “Air Jazz, Air Ontario, they’re not flying and that’s where most of the revenue came from. They [the airport] have cut their expenses as much as they can. Council recognizes the economic driver the airport is and they’re very supportive.”

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For that reason, among others, it was imperative to help the airport out says McDonald.

“Chorus is up there and they have 350 people working in the aviation business,” he explained. “We have a base, we have medivacs, we have Nav-Canada, we have 65 mining companies that depend on the airport. So, you can imagine, if we closed it down even for a couple of months, you can’t lose that confidence.”

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