National Airports Policy – A unique model


Governance Model

Since the late 1990's, Canada’s aviation gateways have been managed by locally-based entities with primary responsibility to the communities they serve – a big shift from the years in which the federal government owned and operated Canada’s airports.

National Airports Policy – A unique model

Implemented in 1994, Canada’s National Airports Policy (NAP) is a unique model for airport governance. Under NAP, the federal government transferred responsibility of airports to local airport authorities.

The government continues to own the 26 National Airport System (NAS) airports – those in capital cities or serving at least 200,000 passengers in 1994 - but entered into long-term leases with local airport authorities to run them. In other words, the federal government switched from owner/operator to landlord/regulator. The non-NAS, local / regional airports were transferred in whole and are now operated and owned by local interests.

Airport Authorities

Airport Authorities are not-for-profit corporations, headed by boards of directors, which are responsible for the airport’s management, development and operation. The Boards are comprised of local representatives nominated by governments, business organizations, tourism associations and other stakeholders.

The federal government continues to set standards for safety and security at all Canadian airports.

ACAA National Airport System Airports
  • Charlottetown Airport
  • Fredericton International Airport
  • Greater Moncton International Airport
  • Gander International Airport
  • Halifax Stanfield International Airport
  • Saint John Airport
  • St. John’s International Airport
ACAA Local and Regional Airports
  • Bathurst Regional Airport
  • Deer Lake Regional Airport
  • Goose Bay Airport
  • Stephenville Airport
  • McCurdy Sydney Airport