Passenger Levels Remain at Record Lows While Aircraft Movement Levels See Some Improvement

Sault Ste. Marie Airport

Passenger traffic April thru November 2020 totalled 13,609 passengers.  This represents a decrease of 90.5%.  The past eight 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 -85.3%
November 2,213 -86.2%


The Sault Ste Marie Airport Development Corporation is a private not for profit corporation that owns and operates the Sault Ste. Marie Airport.  The Airport is unique in the country being the only regional airport that has now affiliation with any municipal or regional government.  Therefore, 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 September 2020 and shows the following levels for the six 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%
September 4,922 -12.3%

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

Terry Bos President and CEO of the SSMADC stated “The recovery in passenger levels has stalled since September.  Unfortunately, the Fall Economic Statement did not provide any relief to regional sized airports, which is very unfortunate.  Considering the airport will see decreased operational revenue of $2.3 Million as well as decreased capital revenue of $1.6 Million this fiscal year alone, assistance from government was greatly needed.”