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CAC Urges Federal Government to Fulfill Commitment to International Air Policy Liberalization

The Canadian Airports Council today called on the federal government to fulfill the commitment it made.


September 19, 2007
By Carey Fredericks

OTTAWA, Feb. 21 – The Canadian Airports Council today called on the federal government to fulfill the commitment it made in its recently revised Blue Sky international air policy to consider airport and consumer interests and pursue more Open Skies agreements. The call comes amid recently expressed interest from foreign carriers interested in increasing service to Canada.

"Last November, the federal government made a commitment to approach international air policy differently – from 'a framework that encourages competition and the development of new and expanded international air services to benefit travellers, shippers, and the tourism and business sectors'," said Canadian Airports Council President and CEO Jim Facette, quoting the first objective of the government's recent Blue Sky policy. "We look forward to the government putting this commitment into action, as foreign markets and their air carriers answer Canada's call."

Mr. Facette commended the government for securing new opportunities for air service in recent talks with Japan – a top trade and tourism partner for Canada. The CAC contends that the true test of the government's new policy will be in how Canada approaches key transit markets, such as Singapore and the United Arab Emirates.

"Canada's airports have a responsibility to market their communities to the world, and have enjoyed a great deal of success in securing valuable new air routes that increase competition and provide more choice for travel around the world," said Mr. Facette. "Nevertheless, these efforts have been partially stymied by restrictive air regimes that have no place under the federal government's new approach to international air policy."

In addition to the promotion of competition, the federal government's Blue Sky policy also commits the government to an approach that "enables airports to market themselves in a manner that is unhindered by bilateral constraints to the greatest extent possible," and "supports and facilitate Canada's international trade objectives."