Airports Say Competitiveness Panel Recommendations a Good Approach for Canada's Aviation Sector

    CAC supports panel recommendations on structural costs, air service
    liberalization and foreign ownership

    OTTAWA, June 26 /CNW Telbec/ - The Canadian Airports today said several
recommendations in the federal government's Compete to Win report represent a
good approach for improving the competitiveness of Canada's aviation sector.
The group, which serves as the voice of Canada's airports, says it supports
recommendations on industry costs, Open Skies and airline foreign investment.
    "For several years now, the CAC has called on the federal government to
adopt a new approach for aviation that recognises the value this sector brings
to Canada's economic future," said CAC President and CEO Jim Facette. "The
Competition Policy Review Panel recognises this value, and we urge the
government to carefully consider its recommendations.
    Among the recommendations in Compete to Win were:

    - Noting industry concerns about government policies that have negatively
      impacted industry costs, a recommendation that fiscal arrangements
      affecting the competitiveness of the industry be reviewed on a regular
    - Citing the potential for Canada to be at a competitive disadvantage to
      the U.S., which has a more aggressive air service liberalization
      policy, that Canada conclude an Open Skies agreement with the European
      Union as soon as possible.
    - That the Minister of Transport raise foreign ownership limits on
      Canadian air carriers to 49 per cent on a reciprocal bilateral basis
      and state its policy on whether 100% foreign ownership of Canadian air
      carrier subsidiaries should be permitted.

    "In practice, Canadian international air policy is still relatively
restrictive...' These are the words of the Competition Policy Review Panel,
and we agree," said Mr. Facette. "We also agree that the Canadian industry
currently is at a competitive disadvantage to the U.S. because of the U.S.-EU
agreement and that successfully completing Canadian negotiations with the EU
on a Canada-EU Open Skies agreement 'has economic importance for the nation."
    The CAC notes that the EU is only part of the story, however. The U.S.
has 92 Open Skies agreements. Canada has only five. There are other important
markets with which Canada has very restrictive agreements and several recent
agreements negotiated have been far less than Open Skies. The CAC also has
requested to participate as observers in talks, as the air carriers do and
airports in other countries do. This would allow community interests to be
represented and better enable airports to understand the dynamics of what is
going on in individual markets.

    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,

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