CAC to CBSA: The Time for "Study" on Core Services has Passed



    Airports lobby disappointed with government approach to vitally important
    community border services

    OTTAWA, June 18 /CNW Telbec/ - The Canadian Airports Council today
expressed disappointment with the Minister of Public Safety's announcement of
additional funding to provide border services at one small airport in Québec.
Others throughout the country have waited three years for a new approach to
the provision of core border services by Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA).
    "The minister today says that an 'overall review of core services' is
ongoing. It has been ongoing for three years. The time for study is over,"
said CAC President and CEO Jim Facette. "The adequate provision of border
services is of vital economic importance to the communities our airports
serve."
    The CAC has worked with CBSA and the Minister of Public Safety for three
years to develop a new approach for the 21st century to the provision of core
border services at Canadian airports. The association, whose 49 members
represent about 95% of the commercial air traffic in Canada, has called on the
government to eliminate its cost recovery approach to the provision of new
services as a costly yoke on the ability of Canadian communities to take
advantage of global opportunities for tourism and trade.
    Several Canadian airports already have lost air service or potential air
service to the U.S. and Europe due to CBSA's cost recovery approach. Added
costs from cost recovery are in addition to a federal approach to aviation
that also burdens Canada's aviation sector with airport rent, the Air
Travellers Security Charge, fuel excise taxes and other cost burdens.
    "We agree with the minister that public funding for border services
recognises the value of tourism and allows airports to be more competitive for
international flights," said Mr. Facette. "However, the federal government is
elected to recognize this reality to the benefit of all Canadian communities."
    Just yesterday, the CAC testified before the House of Commons Standing
Committee on Industry, Science and Technology on the subject of Canadian
tourism competitiveness. According to a recent report from the Tourism
Industry Association of Canada (TIAC), Canada's travel deficit has ballooned
to $10.3 billion in 2007 and the latest quarterly numbers for 2008 show a
continued deterioration.

    About the Canadian Airports Council

    The Canadian Airports Council (CAC) is the voice for Canada's airports.
Its 49 members represent more than 180 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.




For further information:

For further information: Daniel-Robert Gooch, Director of
Communications, Canadian Airports Council, (613) 560-9302 ext 16,
daniel.gooch@cacairports.ca


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