FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 8, 2016
OTTAWA – Prominent industry and business leaders gathered together today to discuss the contribution of Canada’s airports to the economic success of Canada’s cities, and the challenges that need to be addressed to keep the country globally competitive in the market for international air travellers.
“Our airports are strategic economic infrastructure assets that contribute significantly to Canadians’ quality of life and the ability of business communities to trade with the rest of Canada and the world,” said Sam Samaddar, vice chair of the CAC, and director of the Kelowna International Airport. “Canada’s airports don’t just provide direct jobs to the community, they also help local businesses grow by facilitating tourism and international trade.”
The Economic Club of Canada breakfast panel to more than 80 senior level industry, business and government officials, included leaders from Toronto Pearson International Airport, Kelowna International Airport and the chambers of commerce in Montréal and Calgary.
Canada’s airports support the Government of Canada’s recent launch of Transportation 2030, and look forward to working with the government to finalize the commitments made in the plan. As strong passenger growth has seen challenges with growing wait times for screening at several major airports, Transport Minister Garneau has spoken to the need to set globally competitive standards for screening and address funding and accountability for the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority – the crown corporation charged with screening in Canada.
“As gateways to the communities they serve, Canada’s airports play an important role in furthering the economic prosperity of this country,” said CAC President Daniel-Robert Gooch. “Government services play such an important role in keeping airports moving. Competing successfully in the international market for air services requires government and industry to work closely together.”
Panellists discussed the need for a strong but nimble border, to ensure the continued smooth flow of legitimate travellers and goods. Working with airports and the broader air transport sector, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has promoted innovation over the past decade with the introduction of trusted traveller programs and kiosks for a more strategic, targeted approach to securing the border, however, resources need to be strengthened to support growing demand on services.
Participants also cited reforms on industry costs and access to federal infrastructure funding to enable smaller airports access to enough capital for infrastructure maintenance and upgrades.
About the Canadian Airports Council
The Canadian Airports Council (CAC), a division of Airports Council International-North America, is the voice for Canada’s airports community. Its 50 members represent more than 100 airports, including all of the privately operated National Airports System (NAS) airports and many municipal airports across Canada.
Canada’s major airports today are private, and independently operated by non-share capital corporations that are fully responsible for self-funding their operating and infrastructure costs. In 2012, Canada’s air transportation industry had a $34.9 billion economic footprint, supported 405,000 jobs, and contributed more than $7 billion in federal taxes.