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Federal Election 2008 party position questionnaire

In order to better understand your party’s perspective on Canada’s airports sector, please complete the following questionnaire on topics of importance to Canada’s airports.  All responses will be posted on the CAC Web site.


September 30, 2008
By Administrator

The Canadian Airports Council (CAC) is the voice for Canada’s airports.  Its 48 members represent more than 180 airports, including all of the National Airports System (NAS) airports and most significant municipal airports in every province and territory. Together, CAC members handle virtually all of the nation’s air cargo and international passenger traffic and 95% of domestic passenger traffic.  They create in excess of $45 billion in economic activity in the communities they serve.  And more than 200,000 jobs are directly associated with CAC member airports, generating a payroll of more than $8 billion annually. 

In order to better understand your party’s perspective on Canada’s airports sector, please complete the following questionnaire on topics of importance to Canada’s airports.  All responses will be posted on the CAC Web site.  Please fax the completed questionnaire to Daniel-Robert Gooch at (613) 560-6599.  For questions or clarification, please call (613) 560-9302 ext 16.

Competitiveness

1.    Airport rent is the single most important issue negatively impacting the cost competitiveness of Canada’s airports today. 

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Pease outline your party’s position on the current rent policy.  Specifically, do you support a) the status quo, b) the elimination of airport rent or c) another option (please specify)?

2.    Canada’s airports represent an important component of Canada’s aviation system and the Canadian economy.

Please outline your party’s vision for the future of Canada’s airports as part of the nation’s economy.  What is the appropriate role for the federal government in this area?

3.    Canada’s airports today operate under strict accountability and governance requirements outlined in their lease agreements with the federal government.  There have been two failed legislative attempts to introduce, subsequent to the signing of airport leases, new conditions on how airport authorities operate.
Please outline your party's position on the appropriateness of the existing leases and the need for further airport legislation. How would that affect the existing leases or change airport governance and devolution?"

4.    The Ministry of Transport always has been a very large portfolio, with responsibility not only for aviation but also road, rail and marine sectors.  The addition of Infrastructure and Communities has made it an even bigger portfolio and aviation sometimes gets lost.

Please outline your party’s position on the creation of a Secretary of State for Aviation.

5.    Canada’s air negotiating team has made significant progress in negotiating an Open Skies agreement with the European Union but an agreement has not yet been concluded. 

Please outline your party’s views on the conclusion of an Open Skies agreement with the European Union.  Does your party agree that this is important for Canada?

6.    Canada has undertaken moves to liberalize Canada’s international air policy but the pace of reforms with important non-European markets over the past two years has disappointed the airports sector. 

Please outline how your party would approach the continued liberalization of air service agreements with Canada’s important foreign markets for trade, tourism and transit.

7.    While airports have participated as observers at air service talks with the U.S. and European Union, on talks with other nations only airlines have been permitted to participate, which results in agreements designed to protect the interests of Canadian carriers versus the customer or community connectivity.

Under today's bilateral agreements, many communities today are excluded from the potential of services by International carriers, even in the absence of services being considered by Canadian carriers. Airports are uniquely placed to ensure that community interests are represented at such talks.

Please outline your party’s position on allowing airports to participate as observers at international air service talks as a matter of standing policy.

Environment

8.    The environment is very important to Canadians.  While aviation emissions represent just 2% of total emissions, aviation has been an industry of focus for environmental activists and governments in other parts of the world.  The European Union has introduced an aviation emissions plan for airlines operating to and within Europe.

Please outline your party’s position on the introduction of aviation-related emissions efforts in Canada, as has been done elsewhere in the world.  Will your party seek the introduction of such measures and, if so, what model would be pursued?

Border Services

9.    Canada’s international air traffic has grown in recent years and will continue to grow. The adequate provision of border services has arisen as an increasingly important concern for Canada’s airports – the current allocation will not be sufficient to meet demand in coming years.

Please outline your party’s plans for the adequate provision of border services at airports to meet future demand.

10.    Current security policies are impacting trade and tourism sectors negatively while adding millions of dollars to travel costs. There has been discussion of a North America-wide approach to continental security – a vision of mutual recognition of security standards with the potential to greatly improve the intra-continental flow of people and goods.

Please outline your party’s vision for future transportation and border security initiatives with the U.S.  What is your party’s vision for security and border cooperation with the U.S. and what concrete steps would you take to achieve this vision.

Safety and Security

11.    Passenger and baggage screening represent important components of the airport experience but Canada’s airports have been concerned about the mandate and funding model for the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA).

Please outline your party’s view of CATSA’s mandate and funding.

12.     Canada’s airports have spent millions of dollars to prepare for the   introduction of Safety Managements Systems (SMS) and Security Management Systems (SeMS).

Does your party support Safety Management Systems (SMS) and Security Management Systems (SeMS)?