NAN Welcomes Support for Air Carriers Serving Remote First Nations Communities
Nishnawbe Aski Nation - Special to The Bulletin
Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler welcomes support for air carriers serving remote First Nation communities after an announcement made by Ontario and Canada:
“I am pleased to hear of Ontario’s recent announcement in partnership with the federal government to aid essential air travel to remote First Nations in northern Ontario. This commitment addresses inequities in services for First Nations and improve their quality of life,” said Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler. “Air transportation in NAN territory is vital to the health and well being of our remote members. We look to both levels of government to ensure these commitments will transcend beyond the COVID-19 pandemic and continue to provide future enhancements.”
Through this agreement, provincial and federal counterparts will be working together to provide up to $11.1 million to support small air carriers serving remote First Nations communities in Northern Ontario during COVID-19.
The COVID-19 global pandemic has drastically reduced passenger service for small carriers serving the region, due to community lockdowns and travel restrictions.
The survival of these small carriers is necessary to ensure the continuity of essential supplies and services throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and into the future.
The Ministry of Transportation owns and operates 29 remote airports in northern Ontario, with 27 serving NAN remote communities.
NAN has been a strong advocate for improvements to MTO remote northern airports to enhance navigational technology, increase staffing, and upgrade terminal buildings to provide improved safety of operations.
NAN anticipates future agreements like this where partnerships between our provincial and federal governments can prove successful in addressing inequities in services for First Nations and improve their quality of life.