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Dump airport rents, senate report recommends

A newly released Senate committee report makes it abundantly clear that Canada needs a single, cohesive national air travel strategy, including an updated National Airports System, to chart a new course toward increased air travel in Canada. The Standing Senate Committee on Transport and Communications’ report is entitled “The Future of Canadian Air Travel: Toll Booth or Spark Plug?” and it has been two years in the making. And after hearing from a broad cross-section of the industry, committee chair, senator Dennis Dawson said the report is recommending that the federal government “stop treating airports as a source of public revenue, such as toll booths, and start treating them as economic spark plugs.” Senator Dawson said the government “should stop charging airports ground rent and plan to transfer Canada’s main airports to the authorities that already operate them.” The committee also concluded that the federal government should use its influence to bring partners to the table to establish new policies and systems that will address inefficiencies and continually improve the air travel experience for passengers in Canada. Deputy committee chair, senator Stephen Greene observed that: “The changes we are recommending would position the Canadian air travel industry for growth, put it on course to compete successfully in a future of increasing global air travel and enable the industry to deal with fierce competition from U.S. airports located near the Canadian border that are doing whatever they can to attract Canadian clients.” For more, go to http://senate-senat.ca/trcm-e.asp .

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