Transport Minister introduces Canada Airports Act

by Canadian Shipper

OTTAWA, Ont.–A bill that provides an accountability framework for Canada’s largest airports, as well as a modern corporate governance regime for the airport authorities, was introduced today in the House of Commons by Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities.

“This legislation demonstrates this government’s commitment to improving accountability for entities under federal jurisdiction,” said Minister Cannon. “It is an important addition to the legislative framework for Canada’s transportation system.”

The proposed Canada Airports Act includes a new declaration of Canadian airports policy and sets out the roles and obligations of the Minister and the affected airport operators to which it will apply.

It will initially affect 28 airports and in the future will apply to any other airports that reach a threshold of more than 300,000 passengers per year for three consecutive years.

Key aspects of the Canada Airports Act include a fee-setting regime for affected airports, with basic charging principles and notice requirements for setting aeronautical and passenger fees. The eight largest airports will follow a more detailed regime with additional charging principles and requirements for consultation. These provisions are designed to help ensure that fees are fair and are set in a transparent manner. The Act also stipulates when airport users and the public can make their views known to the airports. In addition, airports will have to provide public access to key information such as annual reports, financial statements and approved capital projects.

Under the Canada Airports Act, the federal government will have the authority to audit the business affairs of airport authorities and to give direction and create regulations regarding issues such as equitable access measures, allocation of slots to airlines, and compliance with environmental requirements.

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