SSM Airport Passenger and Aircraft Movement Levels – October 2020

Sault Airport

SAULT STE. MARIE, ON – Passenger traffic April thru October 2020 totalled 11,396 passengers. This represents a decrease of 91%. The past seven months of traffic levels are as follows:

Month Passengers Change from Previous Year
April 63 -99.6%
May 69 -99.6%
June 440 -97.5%
July 2,112 -88.8%
August 3,170 -84.8%
September 2,798 -83.4%
October 2,744 -85.32%

The Sault Ste Marie Airport Development Corporation is a private not for profit corporation that owns and operates the Sault Ste. Marie Airport. The SSMADC must self-fund all operational and capital costs with user fees, leases, and customer pay items such as car park and AIF (Airport Improvement Fee).

Aircraft traffic levels have also been greatly reduced since the onset of the pandemic the latest available data covers through August 2020 and shows the following levels for the five full months since the start of the pandemic:

Month Aircraft Movements Change from Previous Year
April 575 -91.0%
May 875 -89.6%
June 954 -87.7%
July 1,245 -81.0%
August 2,703 -57.1%

Bearskin Airlines is operating 2 flights Sunday and 4 daily flights Monday to Friday. Air Canada Express is offering one daily flight. This continues to be a major decrease in flight options compared to November of 2019 when Air Canada was flying 4 daily flights, Porter had up to 3 daily flights, and Bearskin was flying up to 7 daily flights.

Terry Bos President and CEO of the SSMADC stated “The recovery in passenger levels already appears to have plateaued. Although it was encouraging to hear on the weekend that Minister Garneau after 7 months is finally going to meet with the airlines about support for the aviation sector, there has yet to be any discussion in regards to relief for airports. The first seven months of this pandemic has already reduced the SSMADC’s revenue by $2.4 Million.”