OTTAWA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT AUTHORITY MANAGES FINANCES IN DIFFICULT TIMES

Release date: 
26 May 2003 :00am
Ottawa – Ottawa International Airport Authority today released its financial results for the first quarter of 2003.

For the three months ended March 31, 2003, revenues exceeded expenditures by $4.5 million as compared to $3.3 million for the comparable three months in 2002. An increase in the level of airport improvement fees (AIF) from $10 to $15 per enplaned passenger, which took effect January 1, 2003, had the most significant impact on the operating results of the Authority.

A significant increase in passengers carried by new charters to sunshine destinations augmented flat growth (1.2%) in domestic passengers. Although Air Canada decreased domestic capacity in the quarter as its market share declined, other low cost carriers filled the void in the domestic market. Ottawa Airport saw a 4 % increase in passenger volumes in the first three months of 2003 compared to the first three months of 2002.

These increases are expected to disappear as the sunshine charters are stopped with the arrival of spring weather.

Revenues
The Authority generated $15.9 million in total revenues in the three months ended March 31, 2003 compared to $12.8 million in the comparable period in 2002. Aeronautical revenues including terminal fees, loading bridge charges, and landing fees charged to air carriers, increased in the quarter by 5% from the comparable quarter in 2002. This was due to an increase in charter activity to sunshine destinations in the first quarter of 2003. Airport improvement fees in the quarter increased to $5.1 million from $3.3 million in the comparable quarter last year.

Expenses
Total expenses increased by $1.9 million from $9.5 million in the first three months of 2002 to $11.4 million in the first three months of 2003. Interest expense accounted for $1.5 million of the increase.

Capital Resources
As at March 31, 2003, accounts receivable had increased from December 31, 2002 by $4.0 million, as a result of an increase in the AIF to $15 from $10 effective January 1, 2003, but also due to an increase in the amount receivable from Air Canada, including airport improvement fees.

The airport improvement fee is collected under an agreement with the air carriers and is included with the price of an airline ticket. Under the agreement, airport improvement fees collected by airlines for passenger travel in February would normally be remitted to the Airport Authority at the end of March. The Authority received from Air Canada all regular airport improvement fees that were outstanding on March 31, and remains vigilant in its efforts to collect the regular ongoing fees from the struggling airline.

The Authority’s expenditures on capital, primarily for the expansion program, amounted to $32.9 million in the quarter.

OMCIAA operates Ottawa International Airport without government subsidies under a 60-year lease transfer agreement with Transport Canada. The Authority’s mandate is to manage, operate and develop Airport facilities and lands in support of the economic growth of the National Capital Region. Its 40-year old terminal building was last expanded in 1987. Since that time, passenger traffic has increased, necessitating the Airport’s current expansion project.


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For additional information, please contact:
Krista Kealey (613) 248-2050
Director of Communications and Public Affairs