Two Government Funding Programs Supporting Canada’s Regional Aviation Sector

Canada’s regional airports play an important role in our country’s air transportation sector. Unfortunately, they regularly do not accumulate enough revenue or receive the necessary financial support required for strong, continuous daily operations.

The Airports Capital Assistance Program (ACAP) and the Regional Air Transportation Initiative address the Canadian aviation sector’s challenges by providing government funding to regional airport projects that improve airport safety, protect airport assets, reduce operating costs, and support recovery and growth following COVID-19.   

Although these two aviation sector programs are rather niche, the Government of Canada understands the value in supporting the growth and survival of regional airports which provide safe and local air transportation to millions of Canadians all year round.

If you wish to know more about the following programs, or you would like to assess your business’ eligibility criteria to apply for funding, please connect with the Mentor Works team of government funding specialists.

Funding Snapshot: Airports Capital Assistance Program (ACAP)

The Airports Capital Assistance Program (ACAP) has been funding improvement projects for regional airports since 1995. To date, the Canadian government has provided more than $785.9 million for 904 projects at 182 airports.

The ACAP currently provides government funding for improvement projects to local and regional airports and aerodromes.  

Funding Amount

  • Up to 100% funding.
  • Contribution depends on the amount of airport activity, see contribution levels here.

Eligible Applicants

 Eligible airports include those that:

  • Are not owned or operated by the Government of Canada
  • Meet federal certification requirements
  • Offer year-round commercial passenger service with a min. of 1000 passengers per year
  • Serve less than 525,000 passengers per year

Eligible Project Priorities

  • Projects to rehabilitate airside facilities or buy equipment for aircraft rescue and firefighting
  • Projects to buy heavy mobile equipment (runway snow blowers, plows, winter friction testing devices, etc.)
  • Projects to improve the safety of air terminals (sprinkler system, removing asbestos, barrier-free access, etc.)


  • Continuous intake, but applications must be submitted by April 1 to receive funding in the next program year.

Funding Snapshot: Regional Air Transportation Initiative

The Regional Air Transportation Initiative provides support to regional transportation ecosystems with the goal of helping them remain operational through the COVID-19 pandemic and continue supporting the economic growth of surrounding regions.

Funding Amount

  • Contributions to not-for-profit and Indigenous organizations are generally non-repayable; contributions to for-profit organizations are generally repayable or conditionally repayable.
  • A funding maximum is at the program’s discretion.

Eligible Applicants

  • Regional and local air carriers
  • Regional and local airports
  • Businesses, cooperatives, business groups, not-for-profit organizations, and public institutions that are part of the regional air transportation ecosystem

Eligible Activities

  • The design and implementation of solutions for increased regional air transportation connectivity to complement other federal measures and in particular those that Transport Canada is implementing
  • The development and implementation of enhanced services to support regional connectivity
  • The cash flow needs of regional and local airports
  • Adaptation and modernization measures to maintain and improve operations


  • Deadline is April 30, 2021.

Canadian Government Funding for COVID-19 Support

The Canadian government has been steadily releasing funding programs for a multitude of sectors over the last year to combat impacts caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic. A few of these ongoing support programs include the Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP) and the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF).

Since the Government of Canada’s changes to the pandemic evolve daily, Mentor Works continues to closely monitor all news regarding COVID-19 business support.

To stay up-to-date with Canadian business funding during COVID-19, feel free to bookmark our COVID-19 Support Page, which is updated regularly with new programs and deadlines, or sign up for a free COVID-19 Funding Support for Canadian Businesses webinar.

Find COVID-19 Funding Support Programs from the Canadian Provincial and Federal Governments

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