“The passenger side, though, has essentially imploded,” said Regina Airport Authority (RAA) CEO James Bogusz, “so it’s a complete ghost town here at YQR.
“Looking at this week, we have passenger counts of around 15 or 20 people for the entire day. Typically we’d see 3,300-3,500.”
Bogusz says the Canadian Airports Council is working with the federal government to find ways to support Canadian airports during the health crisis, while locally his team works to find ways to reduce the RAA’s operating costs. He says those run at around $17 million to $18 million annually.
Thus far, the federal government has announced 10 months of rent relief for a number of Canadian airport authorities.
Bogusz says the RAA has already had to lay off 18 of its 51 full-time staff members, a decision he says was made as the airport “understands its role” in the battle against the pervasive disease.
“The primary reason why we’re here is to help planes land and depart and do the services related to those has really come to almost a halt,” he explained.
He says many other businesses and vendors at the airport have also had to cease or draw back operations, as passenger airlines reduce the number of flights they operate.
Bugusz says “critical cargo” traffic still frequents the facility.
He said the RAA hopes to be able to rehire all of the laid-off employees.View link »