Sault Ste Marie Airport Development Corporation

Sault Ste. Marie Airport Development Corporation Celebrates 25 Years of Ownership of Sault Ste. Marie Airport

Posted: Mar 23, 2023
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On March 28th, 2023 the Sault Ste. Marie Airport Development Corporation (SSMADC) celebrates 25 years of ownership of the Sault Ste. Marie Airport.  The SSMADC was formed on April 26, 1996 in response to the Federal Government’s (1994) National Airports Policy.  After the province and the City of Sault Ste. Marie turned down taking ownership of the airport, and in order to stave off closure of the Sault Ste. Marie Airport, the SSMADC carried out a feasibility study and determined that a not-for-profit corporation could take ownership and save the airport.  The Sault Ste. Marie Airport is the only regional, local or small sized airport in the province that is owned and operated by a private not for profit corporation.  In fact, at the time of airport divesture it was one of only two airports in the country that became privately owned due to a lack of support from the local government.

Due to this ownership structure, the SSMADC is the only regional or smaller sized airport that must pay municipal taxes on it’s owned property.  As such, the airport must raise sufficient revenues from fees, concessions, and leases to meet its operating expenses, provide facilities for tenants, and pay municipal taxes.

The SSMADC has faced numerous challenges to make it through 25 years, the first of which was eliminating a million dollar a year deficit.  In 2000 the two national airline carriers Air Canada and Canadian merged into one, eliminating half of the airline service at the airport.  September 11, 2001 saw the terrorist attacks on the twin towers and the closing of airspace for a period of time.  Currently, the airport is still recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic that started in March 2020.

Despite these challenges, the airport has become financially self sufficient and viable while investing over 59 million dollars into infrastructure and equipment at the airport.  The SSMADC has a diverse family of tenants at the airport, and is always looking to attract more, whether that is additional airlines or more MRO type facilities.

Today to celebrate 25 years of ownership, the SSMADC is starting 4 new scholarships of $2,500 each for first year aviation program students at Sault College.  Sault College has one of the premier flight training programs in the country, and has a long relationship with the SSMADC.  SSMADC President & CEO Terry Bos noted, “It only seems a natural fit for the airport to provide financial assistance for new flight training students, not only supporting our tenant family member Sault College, but also assisting in addressing the world-wide pilot shortage.”  Additionally, on behalf of the SSMADC Board of Directors, donations are being made to the Sault College Student Union Emergency Food Bank, the Sault Ste. Marie Soup Kitchen, and Every Breakfast Counts.  SSMADC President & CEO Terry Bos noted, “The SSMADC Board of Directors recognizes the support of the community in helping the airport to succeed and wanted to give back to the community through these donations in recognition of our 25th anniversary owning the Sault Ste. Marie Airport.”

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