VANCOUVER — In response to the federal government’s possible decision to sell major Canadian airports, international airports in Calgary, Ottawa and Vancouver have banded together to launch a new website that highlights the potential pitfalls of such a sale.
The federal government is currently exploring options around a potential sale of major airports, turning them into for-profit enterprises run by private investors. But according to the new website, selling Canada’s airports to for-profit investors would increase travel costs for passengers, remove local voices from airport boards, and undermine Canada’s economic competitiveness.
“Canada is recognized as having the best aviation infrastructure and most efficiently-run airports in the world, and we are immensely proud of that,” said Craig Richmond, President & CEO, Vancouver Airport Authority. “Our success is due in part to the community-based, not-for-profit governance model for our airports. The current model works – for passengers and for the communities we serve.”
Added Mark Laroche, President and CEO of the Ottawa International Airport Authority: “It’s important that Canadians understand how airports have flourished under the current model. Our passengers benefit from world-class facilities, prudent management and world-renowned customer service, and our communities benefit from significant economic impact. It’s in our collective best interest to ensure that our airports can continue to succeed.”
In the 1990s, the country’s major airports were privatized by the federal government and transferred to not-for-profit airport authorities with a mandate to advance economic growth and promote development in the communities in which they operate. Today, Canada’s major airports do not receive any funding from the federal government. Canada’s major airports pay over $1 billion a year in rents and other fees to the federal government.
“Airport authorities re-invest every penny earned back into our airports and that investment has created some of the best airport facilities in the world, but we’re more than a business that builds runways and terminals. We are closely connected to our community, working with our partners to develop strategies that drive the economy of our cities and regions,” said Bob Sartor, President and CEO of The Calgary Airport Authority. “We are launching this campaign to educate Canadians about the impacts to travellers and local communities if the federal government proceeds with selling the country’s airports.”
Canadians are invited to learn more about the impacts that would be felt if Canadian airports are sold to private investors by visiting noairportselloff.ca.