Feds to develop Canada Airports Act

by Canadian Shipper

The Government of Canada intends to develop a Canada Airports Act and undertake a review of the current rent policy for leased airports in the National Airports System (NAS).

“Airports provide an essential public service and it is in the public interest to spell out in legislation both the responsibilities of the airports and those of the Government of Canada. This legislation will build on the successes of the National Airports Policy, while addressing new and emerging issues which have arisen since that policy was announced in 1994,” says Transport Minister David Collenette.

The legislation will provide a framework for airports in keeping with other legislative initiatives such as for Canada’s air navigation and ports systems, spelling out more clearly the roles and responsibilities of airport authorities.

It will also focus on issues related to accountability to the public and users, improved governance, principles for setting fees, oversight of subsidiaries and the requirement to respect Canada’s international obligations as they affect airports.

A draft bill is expected in the fall of 2001.

In response to the demands by the airport and aviation communities and the comments of the Auditor General in October 2000, Transport Canada will also review current rent policy for the leased airports in the NAS, to ensure that the Government of Canada’s airport rent policy balances the interests of all stakeholders, including the air industry and the Canadian taxpayer.

“It is important for the Government of Canada to protect the investment of Canadian taxpayers, to receive fair value for these national assets and airport businesses, and to ensure that the interests of consumers are taken into account by airport authorities,” added Mr. Collenette.

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