AIF collection made easy

Release date: 
9 June 1999 :00am
The Ottawa Airport Authority is pleased to announce an agreement has been reached with the Air Transport Association of Canada (ATAC) and all Airlines operating at the Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport to collect an Airport Improvement Fee (AIF) for the Authority.

Beginning September 1st, a ten (10) dollar AIF will be added to the cost of each ticket departing Ottawa. Airlines will automatically add the AIF to the price of each ticket and regularly remit the accumulated sums to the Authority. Ottawa International becomes the 6th major Canadian Airport to implement an AIF. Hosts of smaller Canadian airports also have an AIF in place.

The agreement benefits Ottawa Airport customers, alleviating the need for passengers to stand in line twice—first at check-in, second at an AIF counter—an inconvenient procedure passengers must follow at certain other airports.

Mr. Regis Trudel, Chairman of the Airport Authority Board of Directors, said: "During the ten-month consultation process last year, we were told by this community that convenience was a key customer concern. The Airline collection agreement was critical to meeting the community’s expectations.

"We were also told of the need for a functional, improved Airport. An airport that acts as a gateway to the world, an economic facilitator, a strong connection to the global marketplace. The Authority now has a tool in place to generate the funds necessary to provide such an airport for the Nation’s Capital."

Mr. Paul Benoit, President and CEO of the Ottawa International Airport Authority, added: "Ottawa Airport is no longer able to meet customer requirements and yet, every month, more and more customers use the Airport. We must improve the Airport if only to maintain current service levels and, since the Airport no longer receives any tax dollars, it must pay for these required improvements.

"The agreement we are announcing today ensures Ottawa Airport customers can conveniently contribute to a better Airport. We believe this agreement will become the benchmark for AIF collection in Canada. In fact, we know of other airports that have indicated to ATAC their willingness to sign the same deal, if that hasn't already taken place.

The Ottawa Airport AIF is also transparent, reliable and represents the most responsible method of generating funds to improve the Airport, said Mr. Benoit. "AIF revenues can only be applied toward capital improvements through the Airport Improvement Program, ensuring that sums raised in the National Capital Region serve its residents and business community. As we plan Airport improvements, we will continue to work closely with air carriers and other stakeholders."

Airline collected AIF is convenient, transparent, reliable and responsible

Convenient: Ottawa Airport customers do not have to stand in line twice prior to departing the airport in Ottawa.

Transparent: The Improvement Fee will be clearly indicated as a separate line item on all tickets having Ottawa as point of origin after September 1, 1999.

Reliable: With standard passenger forecasting tools, the Airport Authority can estimate quite precisely how much revenue the AIF will generate in the future. These estimates facilitate the lending process to secure funds for a major expansion project. The Authority forecasts Improvement Fee revenues will exceed $13 million in its first year.

Responsible: The Airline collection also results in important savings for the Authority, avoiding the need to develop and implement costly Airport-based collection processes and duplication of services. This maximizes AIF returns for the local community, Airport users and the Authority.

AIF revenues will immediately produce benefits for the local community, airport users and stakeholders. Construction of a new Combined Services Building (CSB) to house both the airport's maintenance garage and Emergency Response Services (fire) has already begun. CSB-related expenses, to be completed in the summer of 2000, total $7 million. As well, AIF revenues will provide for the development phase of the Airport Expansion Program. These costs are estimated at $2 million.

The Airport Expansion Program, an integral part of the Improvement Program, is progressing according to plan. A Program Definition Document is under development and scheduled for completion before the winter. The document will include a precise cost-estimate for the Expansion Project.

The Airport Authority is confident it can deliver an affordable Expansion Project that will meet the travel needs of the region and facilitate its economic growth.


For more information:
Laurent Benoit (613) 248-2050
Director of Communications and Public Affairs