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Feds to offer $740M relief package for airports amid COVID-19 restrictions 

Click to play video: 'Ottawa lays out how funding for airports will be distributed amid COVID-19 pandemic' Ottawa lays out how funding for airports will be distributed amid COVID-19 pandemic
WATCH: Ottawa lays out how funding for airports will be distributed amid COVID-19 pandemic – May 11, 2021

The federal government is launching a basket of programs to bolster airports with hundreds of millions of dollars in funding first announced back in November.

A government official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the announcement is not yet public, says Ottawa has laid out the criteria for airports to access $740 million in capital investments over the next six years.

Nearly $500 million of that windfall is bound for large airports to put toward critical infrastructure such as runway repairs and transit stations.

Read more: Airport industry group calls for aid as pandemic lockdown chokes off revenue

Most of the rest is en route to smaller airports, whose definition has been loosened temporarily to allow eight more sites to apply, from Prince George, B.C., to Gander, Nfld.

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The government previously announced $435 million roughly evenly split between airport rent relief and support for regional air transportation.

The aviation industry has been among the hardest-hit sectors during the COVID-19 pandemic, with profits and passenger numbers plummeting amid travel restrictions and border shutdowns.

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