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Thu, Dec 23, 2004

Canada's ATA Decries The Cost Of Flying

Says Its Costs Are Going Up While Other Countries Get More Competitive

While Canada continues to force the cost of flying and landing aircraft ever higher, Germany will drive down those costs and make that country more competitive, the Air Transport Association said today. The German Transport Ministry announced yesterday that airport landing fees will drop 28% on January 1, 2005 and air navigation overflight fees will fall about 20%.

"Meanwhile in Canada the federal government continues to drive up airport fees by imposing ever-rising rental charges," says Cliff Mackay, the association's President. "Airport rent will rise another 30% in Montreal on January 1st. Landing fees at the key hub in Toronto will rise again next month by 17%. We've faced two substantial increases in air navigation charges since 9/11. The trend is clear across the country."

"Canada's future depends on increasing our economic competitiveness," Mackay commented. "Increased costs in air transportation multiply down through all the industries that buy our services, creating a substantial drag on the economy. This costs jobs and suppresses growth. But meanwhile other countries stimulate their economies by driving down these fixed costs."

The Air Transport Association has called on the government to freeze its rent demand at 2004 levels, pending a Cabinet debate on the future of the program. Without changes the annual rental rate is scheduled to rise to nearly one half-billion by the end of the decade.

"Airports are some of the most important generators in a city's economy,' Mackay said. "This federal government has made its cities agenda a center-piece of its policies, and yet it continues to target the airports as cash cows. It's completely illogical. Our government has to take note of moves such as the Germans are making and recognize that efficient transportation pays off across the economy."

FMI: www.atac.ca

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