The NWT government will resume collecting some fees at airports from January 1, 2021, ending a set of pandemic relief measures that had helped northern airlines and aviation businesses.
Collection of aircraft landing fees has been suspended since March 20, while collection of fees related to leasing, concessions, and licences was suspended on April 1.
The territory says waiving those fees provided around $6.3 million in financial relief to the industry.
But the GNWT announced the forthcoming resumption of fee collection in a Monday news release, implying it can’t afford to keep the measures in place.
“The GNWT must now take into account the financial situation of its airports and ensure they have the funds to safely operate,” the news release stated.
The territory said money from the fees was needed to invest in and maintain airport infrastructure, meet regulatory requirements, and ensure passenger and staff safety.
Airlines in the North, like those across the nation, have suffered financially in the dramatic travel dip that accompanied the onset of Covid-19.
Other financial supports have included $20 million in combined federal and territorial funding announced in September and divided between 20 NWT operators.
Around $12 million had been provided to some operators in earlier funding packages in May and June.