The Ottawa International Airport Authority has issued a Request for Proposal for future taxi service at the airport.
The Authority believes that it is important for the public to understand the context in which the RFP process is proceeding and how the issuance of the RFP is consistent with the Authority’s commitment to enhancing the travel experience for all clients while ensuring the financial viability of the airport. The Authority has taken this step because the current arrangement no longer met its business objectives and left it out of sync with business models for other airport tenants and airport taxi models at most Canadian airports.
West-Way has been under contract to provide taxi service to the airport’s clients since 1999, and the Authority has enjoyed a long-standing and positive relationship with the company and its individual drivers. The most recent agreement with West-Way expired in February 2014, and the two parties have been working under a short-term extension that expires at the end of June. With the impending expiration, the Airport Authority has issued a formal Request for Proposal for a new contract. The current provider is amongst the group which has been invited to respond to the RFP.
The Airport Authority is a not-for-profit organization which is required, by mandate from Transport Canada, to manage and develop the airport in a “safe, secure, efficient, cost effective and financially viable manner with reasonable airport user charges”. This means the Authority is self-sufficient; relying completely on revenues generated from operations and services to sustain itself. All of its profits must be reinvested in airport operation or development. This mandate is entirely consistent with the Authority’s dual goal of providing excellent customer service and ensuring financial viability.
To that end, the Request for Proposal process will ensure that a new contract will generate sufficient and sustainable revenue that is equitable with other airport concessions and ground transportation providers, which is not currently the case. The new contract will be transparent, accountable, and will continue to provide the same superior level of customer service that our passengers have always enjoyed. The Authority is especially sensitive to the drivers and the importance of the airport contract to their economic future, and is seeking a solution that will not impact them negatively.
Given the self-sustaining nature of the Authority’s mandate, it is important to understand that every dollar generated from non-aeronautical revenue sources, such as land leases, parking, concessions, advertising, and ground transportation is a dollar that does not have to come from the aeronautical fees charged to airlines. Lower aeronautical fees position the Authority to compete better for incremental air service, which (a) brings in new revenue, (b) has significant positive economic benefits for the community, and (c) generates increased demand for airport services, including taxis.
While RFP process is underway, the Authority is committed to ensuring that taxi service for the travelling public continues uninterrupted.