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Canadian airports concerned over proposed passenger fee

Feb. 18, 2011, Ottawa - The Canadian Airports Council today expressed concern over the prospect of an additional U.S. government fee being imposed on passengers flying by air between Canada and the U.S.


February 18, 2011
Carey Fredericks

"There already is a significant tax burden on air travellers flying between Canada and the U.S., which negatively impacts the ability of Canadian airports and the Canadian aviation sector to compete fairly," said CAC Chairman and Interim President Bill Restall.  "We share the concern of our tourism partners that an additional fee would further drive Canadian travellers to take to their cars and fly out of U.S. border airports."
 
The CAC was responding to a proposed "passenger inspection fee" of $5.50 per passenger outlined in the draft 2012 U.S. federal budget that has been sent to Congress.  The new fee, which would be in addition to about $45 roundtrip in U.S. government fees already charged on trans-border plane tickets and a host of Canadian charges on air travel, would add to a passenger ticket tax burden among the highest in the world.
 
News of the proposed fee comes as increased focus is being given to Canadian air travellers flying out of U.S. airports due to lower costs.  A travel intentions survey released by the Hotel Association of Canada (HAC) this week revealed that 21 per cent of Canadian leisure travellers said they travelled by car to a U.S. airport in 2010 to take a trip using less expensive airline tickets for U.S. or foreign travel – up from 18 per cent in 2009.  An additional 11 per cent of travellers said they had not done so in the past, but that they might do so this year.