The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is urging the Canadian government to eliminate Crown rents as a way to improve the competitiveness of its aviation sector over consideration of airport privatization.
“The Canadian government has already pocketed about $5 billion as the historical landlord of airport property. That’s a $5 billion disincentive to travel, to visit this wonderful country or to plan a business trip,” said IATA director general Alexandre de Juniac.
“Eliminating Crown rents would boost Canada’s GDP by over $300 million annually, create more than 4,000 jobs and generate an additional $111 million in tax receipts. This should be the priority.”
The call to abandon Crown rents was made in a speech to the Montreal Council on Foreign Relations in which de Juniac congratulated the Canadian government for not including airport privatization in its March 22 budget announcement.
“We hope that Transport Minister Marc Garneau’s motivation to defend the interests of travellers will keep the privatization idea on the back-burner permanently. Let me be completely unambiguous. Canada will regret it if the crown jewels are sold,” said de Juniac.
Aviation in Canada plays a key role in the economy – linking Canada to global markets and underpinning some 600,000 Canadian jobs.