National Airlines Council of Canada applauds increased funding to aviation security, tourism



    OTTAWA, Jan. 27 /CNW/ - The National Airlines Council of Canada ("NACC"),
welcomes the federal government's decision outlined in today's Federal Budget
to increase funding to the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA).
Aviation security is an essential service in Canada and today's announcement
that the Government of Canada will assume new security costs directly, rather
than through new costs for air travellers, demonstrates the federal
government's recognition of its responsibility in this matter. While the
government's funding commitment is limited to 2009-10, the NACC advocates for
a permanent federal fund dedicated to aviation security.
    "CATSA plays a vital role in ensuring secure air travel and we applaud
the federal government for moving towards an air security funding model more
in line with those of other countries where security costs are considered a
public good", said George Petsikas, NACC President.
    Unlike in other transportation sectors, airline passengers see the costs
of security reflected directly in their ticket prices through the Air
Travellers Security Charge (ATSC). Air travellers pay $400 million per year in
ATSC and a total of $2.3 billion has been paid since the introduction of the
charge. NACC believes that the ATSC should be funded through resources
available in the consolidated revenue fund - consistent with other countries'
approach.
    The government's decision to finance an increase in CATSA funding without
passing costs through to commuters reinforces the need to ensure that CATSA is
serving the security interests of Canadians in the most effective way
possible. The NACC is prepared to begin working with the Government of Canada
to undertake a review of CATSA, including an analysis of comparable safety
authorities in Canada's trading partners.
    The federal budget also includes a significant funding increase to the
tourism sector, an initiative that is commended by the NACC. "Tourism
represents an important economic activity in Canada with close ties to the
aviation industry," stated Mr. Petsikas. "All regions of Canada stand to gain
from the development of tourism and the establishment of Canada as a hub for
international tourism."

    The National Airlines Council of Canada (NACC) is a trade association
founded by Canada's largest commercial airlines in order to ensure safe,
sustainable and competitive air travel for Canadian consumers. The Council
works with other stakeholders to develop the legislative, policy and
regulatory framework that is necessary to foster Canada's world-class air
transportation system.




For further information:

For further information: Brigitte Hébert, Director, National Airlines
Council of Canada, (613) 231-7223, bhebert@airlinecouncil.ca,
bhebert@conseilaerien.ca; www.airlinecouncil.ca (en Français:
www.conseilaerien.ca)


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