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IATA urges government to help aviation industry

March 6, 2012, Montreal - The CEO of the association that represents most of the world's airlines says the Canadian government needs to do more for its aviation industry.


March 6, 2012
By The Canadian Press

Tony Tyler says a study commissioned by the International Air Transport Association shows the aviation sector generates $33.3 billion of Canada's GDP and supports 401,000 jobs.

But Tyler told the Montreal Council on Foreign Relations today that aviation could contribute much more if the government took a more strategic approach.

The IATA director-general singled out the Canadian aviation industry's contribution to taxes.

He noted the Crown rent charged for Canada's airport infrastructure is a $250-million competitive disadvantage compared to other countries like Australia.

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Tyler says the pain is being felt by the Canadian air transport sector because passengers are opting to start their journeys from U.S. airports.

He argues that Canada is well-positioned to use aviation as a catalyst for growth, but its advantages cannot compensate for government policies that treat aviation as a cash cow.

Tyler said he's optimistic about the future because there are signs policy-makers may be reassessing aviation's role.

He described as good news the announcement by the British Columbia government that it is proposing to do away with the provincial tax on international jet fuel.

Tyler said it's now time for Transport Canada to undertake a similar review of aviation taxation and access issues.