U.S. Open Skies an Important Milestone for Canada, Canada's Airports Say - Airports urge federal government to continue liberalization of air service regimes

    WASHINGTON, March 12 /CNW Telbec/ - The Canadian Airports Council today
hailed the signing of the new Open Skies agreement with the United States an
important aviation milestone for Canada, and urged the government to continue
its initiatives to liberalize Canada's air service regimes with other
important trade, tourism and transit markets.
    "Open Skies with the U.S. is an important achievement for Canada - One
that will provide Canadian airports and the communities they serve increased
opportunities to market themselves on the world stage," said CAC President and
CEO Jim Facette. "Yet, for airlines to take full advantage of the new freedoms
afforded by Open Skies with the U.S., the Canadian government must continue
its important work of liberalizing air regimes with third countries."
    Canada and the U.S. on Open Skies announced the historic Open Skies
agreement in November 2005 after a series of talks involving both governments
and representatives from the airline and airports sectors. The agreement,
which now comes into effect, removes bilateral restrictions on pricing,
alliances and will allow carriers from either side to carry passengers on
routes beyond the country to a third nation.
    "As economic and social gateways for the communities they serve, Canada's
airports have an important stake in the outcome of bilateral air talks between
Canada and foreign markets and played a valuable role in the talks that led us
to today's historic event," said Mr. Facette. "In keeping with this
government's commitment to transparency in government, Canada's airports would
welcome the opportunity to again represent community interests during talks
with other key markets in the coming months and years."
    The federal government committed itself to sign more Open Skies-type
agreements in its recently announced Blue Sky policy on international air

    About the Canadian Airports Council

    The Canadian Airports Council (CAC) is the voice for Canada's airports.
Its 45 members encompass more than 150 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 well in excess of $30 billion in economic
activity in the communities they serve. And more than 150,000 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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