CAC Applauds Western Premiers Call for Open Skies

    
    Canada's airports congratulate premiers of B.C., Alberta and Saskatchewan
    for joint declaration
    

VANCOUVER, Sept. 25 /CNW Telbec/ - Canada's airports today congratulate the premiers of British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan for their strong endorsement of the economic benefits of Open Skies through the formal signing of a joint declaration.

"As Canada's three premiers today acknowledged, Canada's unique geographic position in the North gives our country a tremendous opportunity to serve as a gateway from Asia and Europe to the Americas. But we are leaving valuable air links on the table. As the prime minister said just last week, we must redouble our efforts to keep trade flowing."

In their joint declaration, the three provinces committed to continue to exchange information, as well as work with industry and other government jurisdictions to promote Open Skies, as well as to educate the public on its merits.

"These three provinces made four bold commitments to promoting Open Skies. As a primary stakeholder in the process, the CAC commits to engage with these and other provinces in this endeavour," said Mr. Rempel.

Mr. Rempel's remarks came from the sidelines of the Open Skies Summit, which took place in Vancouver today for the first time. In his own comments to delegates earlier in the day Mr. Rempel acknowledged that the federal government has made great strides in recent years in reaching open agreements with several important markets, including the European Union and South Korea.

"We acknowledge some tremendous work that has been done by our government in liberalization with several particularly important trade and tourism markets," said Mr. Rempel. "But with many other countries around the world, our government is slow or reluctant to opening up market access. Canadian consumers, the tourism sector and the business community all suffer as a result."

Open Skies lifts most restrictions on the number of flights that airlines can fly between two countries that sign Open Skies agreements. Canada already enjoys Open Skies agreements with eight countries, including the United States and South Korea. A very liberal agreement also was reached earlier this year with the European Union.

Economic impact studies show that service by foreign carriers brings Canadian jobs. A 2006 economic impact study conducted for Vancouver International Airport, for example, found that each time one of its Asia-Pacific carriers lands at the airport with a local crew, it generates nearly 790 hours of employment. However, restrictive agreements with important transit markets have meant air carriers interested in serving Canada have been shut out or had their ability to operate viably threatened.

About the Canadian Airports Council

The Canadian Airports Council (CAC) is the voice for Canada's airports. Its 46 members represent more than 200 airports, including all of the National Airports System (NAS) airports and most significant municipal airports in every province and territory. Together, CAC members handle virtually all of the nation's air cargo and international passenger traffic and 95% of domestic passenger traffic. They create in excess of $45 billion in economic activity in the communities they serve. And more than 200,000 jobs are directly associated with CAC member airports, generating a payroll of more than $8 billion annually.

SOURCE Canadian Airports Council

For further information: For further information: Daniel-Robert Gooch, Director of Communications, Canadian Airports Council, (613) 884-1344, daniel.gooch@cacairports.ca


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