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LETTER: Cape Breton airport petition needs support

The J.A. Douglas McCurdy Sydney Airport which will not have any air service as of Jan. 11, 2021. Carla Arsenault, president and CEO of the Cape Breton Partnership, said a number of stakeholders have come together to rally for the air service to remain at the Sydney airport and will be rolling out two initiatives in the next few days, including an emotional video message to the Prime Minister and a petition. Sharon Montgomery-Dupe/Cape Breton Post
The J.A. Douglas McCurdy Sydney Airport is shown in this file photo. Sharon Montgomery-Dupe/Cape Breton Post

The recent news about the cessation of commercial air service at the J.A. Douglas McCurdy Sydney Airport is deeply concerning for our community.

While we understand that the business case for these airlines has changed as a result of the pandemic, it will be difficult for our Island’s economy to recover post-pandemic without air access to Sydney.

As an international festival, Celtic Colours has also been negatively impacted by the pandemic, with the restrictions on travel and group sizes. In previous years, we have come to rely upon commercial air access through Sydney for the thousands of tourists travelling to Cape Breton Island to participate in the festival.

We also normally fly many of our visiting artists directly to Sydney, saving money and travel time as compared to flying into Halifax. When the pandemic lifts, which it will eventually, commercial air service through Sydney Airport will be a critical component for the recovery of Celtic Colours, and our overall economic recovery as a community. Without it, we will be challenged to get back to where we were.

I encourage as many as possible to sign the petition. This will send the message to the federal government and to the commercial airlines that Cape Bretoners support our airport, and recognize its importance to our recovery.

The petition is open for signatures until Jan. 20 at 12 noon. It can be accessed at

Mike MacSween


(Executive director, Celtic Colours International Festival)


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