SYDNEY, N.S. -- In just a couple of weeks, there will be no commercial air travel to and from Sydney, N.S. or Saint John, N.B.

While that will be a blow in the short term -- efforts to save smaller airports in the Maritimes have already taken off.

Business leaders and politicians in Cape Breton have made a desperate plea to Ottawa.

"People are feeling it," Cape Breton Regional Municipality Mayor Amanda McDougall says in a video. "They're nervous.  They don't want to be cut off from the rest of the world."

On Jan. 11, Air Canada will be pulling its flights from the Sydney and Saint John airports and leaving both without any commercial air traffic.

In Cape Breton, where the next nearest airport is four hours away in Halifax, a video entitled "Save the Sydney Airport" was released over the holidays.

McDougall feels the message to Ottawa and Air Canada is strong.

"Ensuring that we have the same assurance that we do from Westjet, that once COVID does kind of take a hike, that we do have the assurance from the airline, that they will return," McDougall said.

The video hits on the potential impacts, such as tourism, international students, population growth, the economy, and those who work away, such as rotational workers.

Along with the video, an online petition to the government of Canada has already gotten nearly 4,000 signatures.

"I know for sure, that the message is being heard," McDougall said. "That is the first step."

McDougall says the next step is following up on the message in the coming weeks.

"We all feel the urgency and necessity of this conversation, of this fight," she said.