Canada’s Airports Chart Course for the Future

March 26, 2015


Competitive service standards for passenger screening, reinvestment of taxes and fees back into aviation, among airport recommendations to government review of aviation policy


VANCOUVER – Recommendations to support globally competitive service standards for security screening, reinvestment of aviation fees and taxes back into the system, and infrastructure program improvements for small airports, are among the areas of focus unveiled today by the Canadian Airports Council as part of its submission to a review panel studying Canada’s transportation policy.

“Canada today is more heavily reliant on aviation than ever before,” said John Gibson, chair of the CAC. “Canada’s airports may face important challenges, but also important opportunities for growth – particularly in international markets – if Canada can become more innovative and competitive in aviation.”

Headed up by the Honourable David Emerson, the Canada Transportation Act (CTA) Review Panel is slated to conclude its work later this year. The CAC submission, Connecting Canada: An Aviation Policy Agenda for Global Competitiveness and Economic Prosperity contains 20 policy recommendations around security screening, economic competitiveness, border policies, airport policies and air policy liberalization. Recommendations include:

  • Restructure how screening of passengers and baggage is delivered in Canada to continue to ensure safe, secure Canadian skies but better meet international service standards.
  • Reinvest federal aviation taxes, fees and charges into the air transportation system, such as through a fund for aviation infrastructure.
  • Eliminate federal ownership of some airports’ land as exclusion with respect to federal infrastructure program eligibility in favour of more objective criteria, such as infrastructure and financial needs of airports.
  • Continue progressive international air policy liberalization under Canada’s Blue Sky Policy.

“Arguably the most important task facing Canada’s aviation sector is to achieve better alignment of aviation policies with other areas of federal and provincial policy underpinning Canada’s trade-based economy,” said Daniel- Robert Gooch, president of the CAC. “Mr. Emerson’s review has spurred important reflection among Canada’s air sector leaders over the past year.  We look forward to seeing the result of his important work.”

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 nearly 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 airports are 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 to federal taxes.


About ACI-NA

Airports Council International-North America (ACI-NA) represents local, regional, and state governing bodies that own and operate commercial airports in the United States and Canada. ACI-NA member airports enplane more than 95 percent of the domestic and virtually all the international airline passenger and cargo traffic in North America. Approximately 380 aviation-related businesses are also members of ACI-NA, providing goods and services to airports. Collectively, U.S. airports support more than 11.5 million jobs and account for $1.4 trillion in economic activity – or more than seven percent of the total U.S. GDP. Canadian airports support 405,000 jobs and contribute C$35 billion to Canada’s GDP. Learn more at