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  • 2 weeks later...

Increase in airport improvement fees at YUL

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Montréal, October 22, 2020 – Faced with a significant decrease in its passenger traffic and associated revenues, ADM Aéroports de Montréal, like other Canadian airport authorities, has been compelled to announce an increase in the airport improvement fees (AIF) charged to departing passengers at YUL Montréal-Trudeau Airport. The AIF, used exclusively to fund infrastructure projects essential to maintaining safe operations at YUL, will increase from $30 to $35 effective February 1, 2021.

“While a major budget rationalization exercise has reduced our capital budget to the strict minimum for the coming years, significant amounts have had to and will continue to be made available annually to ensure that our airport site complies with current safety and security regulations and requirements,” said Philippe Rainville, President and CEO of ADM Aéroports de Montréal. “ADM has a duty to ensure that its facilities are upgraded and we will never compromise on this. In the current context, we have no choice but to proceed with this $5 increase, which will partially offset the substantial cash shortfall that will be created by this crisis.”
It should be noted that ADM is a not-for-profit, non-subsidized organization, generating its revenues on a user-pay basis. The data currently available suggest a minimum 71% decrease in passenger traffic at YUL for the current year compared with 2019. For the year 2021, a decrease of at least 50% is anticipated, again based on the same reference year. The increase in AIF is expected to generate additional revenues of $20 million in 2021.

The last AIF increase at YUL was in April 2018 and came after an 8-year freeze on fees.

 

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On 10/15/2020 at 9:43 AM, boestar said:

they are still moving ahead with the T3 extension at the moment.

Really? I hadn’t noticed.

They took down Hangar bay 8. That project was signed & sealed pre Covid. The Baggage transfer thing was well under way as well.

Areas of T3 are mothballed as well as parts of T1. The infield terminal and the Viscount garage. 

 

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  • 1 month later...

 

Toronto airport raised it's AIF in Sept. due to a shortfall in revenues but now it has found $300,000.00 to spend on a problem / issue that has absolutely nothing to do with the airport but rather lies in the hands of Municipal, Provincial or Federal Governments .   Strange.
 
Greater_Toronto_Airports_Authority_Great

09:00 ETGreater Toronto Airports Authority commits $300,000 in funding for Black and Indigenous led organizations 

TORONTO, Dec. 1, 2020 /CNW/ - The Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) has announced a call for proposals for its 2020 Nest Fund, committing...

 

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....The GTAA's Nest Fund supports programs and organizations that have a positive impact on communities surrounding Toronto Pearson. The Nest Fund is a funding stream of the Propeller Project, the GTAA's community investment program. This call for proposals aligns with the Propeller Project Fund's areas of concentration, which include partnering with organizations that are focused tackling the complex issue of underemployment, a challenge that many BIPOC communities face. ...."

 

I can live with that.

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Owen Sound introducing landing fees at its regional airport

From The Owen Sound Sun Times – link to source story

Denis Langlois, December 2, 2020 | Updated December 4, 2020

City-hall-1-e1554238875687-1.jpeg&w=840& Owen Sound city hall. DENIS LANGLOIS/THE SUN TIMES

Owen Sound is planning to introduce landing fees at the Owen Sound Billy Bishop Regional Airport to help reduce the amount of property tax money required to operate and maintain the facility.

Council supported a recommendation from city manager Tim Simmonds Monday directing staff to both provide notice of the city’s intent and bring forward a bylaw to amend Owen Sound’s fees and charges bylaw to add airport landing fees. They would be introduced in January.

The city intends to phase in the fees, starting at $35 for aircraft weighing under 5,000 kilograms and $70 for heavier aircraft.

Simmonds said in a report that the net cost to city taxpayers of operating and maintaining the airport has increased from $100,000 in 2004 to $228,000 in 2020.

Coun. Travis Dodd said that information is the most important part of the report.

“If this is a way for us to bring extra revenue into the budget line to help keep this going, I’m more than happy to move the recommendation,” he said.

The airport, located on Highway 26 east of Owen Sound, sees an average of 2,888 flight movements annually, based on the past four years of data.

Simmonds said city officials project the proposed landing fees will generate an additional $100,000 in annual gross revenue for the airport.

Staff is planning to present recommended landing fees for 2022 late in 2021, based on information compiled during the first year, such as flight movements, fuel sales and landing fees collected.

Based on the four-year average of flight movements at the airport, Simmonds said he estimates the city would have to charge a landing fee of $90 to ensure the airport operates at 90 per cent cost-neutral to property taxpayers.

However, that calculation doesn’t consider things like potential drops in fuel sales and flight movements as a result of the landing fees.

Simmonds noted the airport will require about $1.3 million in upgrades – mostly to resurface the runway – in the next five years.

On a question from Dodd, Simmonds said a majority of airports, including the nearby Wiarton Keppel International Airport in Georgian Bluffs, impose landing fees.

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I love user fees - those who use a resource pay for it.  Landing fee for the airport - just fine with me. 

Now, on to the next topic; how much do we charge each person for using public parks? Two dollars/visit sounds fair.  What about the public library - let's charge $1 per kid per visit and a surcharge of .25 for every item you borrow.  What's that?  You don't feel there should be a charge for using the park or the library?  Why not?  Just a little user fee for those who use the resource.

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9 minutes ago, seeker said:

I love user fees - those who use a resource pay for it.  Landing fee for the airport - just fine with me. 

Now, on to the next topic; how much do we charge each person for using public parks? Two dollars/visit sounds fair.  What about the public library - let's charge $1 per kid per visit and a surcharge of .25 for every item you borrow.  What's that?  You don't feel there should be a charge for using the park or the library?  Why not?  Just a little user fee for those who use the resource.

I’m with you seeker. But why stop there? How about $5 per kid per day to go to public school, and a $20/semester locker rental fee. That’s not such a bad deal considering what they get out of it. Or a $10/day entrance fee to the public hospital? Doesn’t sound like a bad deal there either. How about $0.10/km for using public roads? Would you go for a $5 entrance fee to the mall or $1 for a local store? Maybe even a $20/year fee for each Internet forum we frequently use. But I digress.......... ?

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37 minutes ago, J.O. said:

Meanwhile, parking at the province-run casinos has been free. Seems a little backwards to me.

Well, when most people go into the hospital, be it for day surgery /visiting/lab service, they normally carry a few $$$.

And, when most people visit a casino they come out with $ 0.00  but the Casino guys aren't heartless...they want to see  that you can get  your car out and go home without any fees, and more importantly want another parking spot freed up.?

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1 hour ago, mo32a said:

Well I have been to the hospital 3 times in the last 4 months for diagnostic testing and there were certainly people wandering around with other folks.

supportive family member(for blind patients etc)  continue to be allowed in most hospitals across Canada. I hope your diagnostic testing was not for a End of Life Ailment and hope your results are positive. 

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1 hour ago, mo32a said:

Well I have been to the hospital 3 times in the last 4 months for diagnostic testing and there were certainly people wandering around with other folks.

My sister is currently in the hospital in Port Moody (fractured vertebrae from a fall) and no one is allowed to visit.  I suspect that my nephew from Kelowna might be able to as he has the power of attorney but he would have to tackle the Coquihalla to get there.

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On 12/8/2020 at 2:52 PM, Malcolm said:

supportive family member(for blind patients etc)  continue to be allowed in most hospitals across Canada. I hope your diagnostic testing was not for a End of Life Ailment and hope your results are positive. 

Two ultrasounds and a MRI for bum knee, still limping around.

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  • 1 month later...
  • 1 month later...

Bleeding cash, Canada’s once-booming airports face bleak choices and dim prospects

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'Canada’s airports were already at a competitive disadvantage to their U.S. counterparts prior to the pandemic. Having undertaken expensive – or extravagant, say their critics – investments in new terminal buildings in recent years, many came to rely on debt and ever-increasing per-passenger “airport improvement fees” to cover growing operating and debt-service costs.'

Wed Mar 17, 2021 - The Globe and Mail
by Konrad Yakabuski

Back when the Trudeau government sought to make infrastructure the leitmotif of its first-term economic strategy, it considered privatizing Canada’s then-booming airports to free up capital to invest in public transit and green-energy projects.

At the time, no one seemed more bullish on the idea than Michael Sabia. Then the head of Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, Mr. Sabia had seen the pension fund manager’s stake in London’s Heathrow Airport generate juicy returns over the years and he longed to see similar opportunities arise at home. As a member of then-finance minister Bill Morneau’s advisory council on economic growth, in 2016, he enthusiastically backed its recommendations for a partial or full privatization of Canada’s airports. Most observers assumed the Caisse would pounce at the chance to own a piece of them.

The Liberals ultimately decided against privatization in the face of stiff opposition from the people who then ran Canada’s airport authorities and polls showing Canadians cool to the prospect of selling off what were perceived as prized public assets. As a result, the government turned its nose up at billions of dollars in proceeds that could have gone toward other infrastructure priorities or debt reduction. Privatization would also have enabled airports to tap equity markets to fund growth instead of constantly dinging passengers with higher fees and piling on debt that had reached a cumulative $15-billion when the pandemic struck.

Now, those same airports are begging Ottawa for a bailout after a year of cratering revenues brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic and increasingly punitive travel restrictions imposed by the federal government. Instead of generating cash from their sale, Ottawa could instead be on the hook for billions if struggling airports default on their debt as they run out of cash.

As it happens, Mr. Sabia, appointed deputy finance minister in December, is once again at the centre of the debate about what to do about the airports.

As an architect of Ottawa’s postpandemic fiscal strategy, Mr. Sabia must address more than the short-term cash woes of Canada’s airports. While Ottawa has provided rent relief to the authorities that operate Canada’s airports under long-term leases with the federal government, it is a drop in the bucket compared with the amount they need to survive the next few years. Some experts predict that air travel might not return to prepandemic levels until 2025, suggesting some airports may need to undertake a financial restructuring to remain viable.

Canada’s airports were already at a competitive disadvantage to their U.S. counterparts prior to the pandemic. Having undertaken expensive – or extravagant, say their critics – investments in new terminal buildings in recent years, many came to rely on debt and ever-increasing per-passenger “airport improvement fees” to cover growing operating and debt-service costs.

Those days are over. In the postpandemic era, Canada’s airports will need to adopt a more consumer-friendly business model if they hope to lure back travellers. The current model, akin to operating Canada’s airports as public utilities, has proved ill-suited to changing market conditions and competitive pressures. Its days were numbered even before the pandemic.

The Greater Toronto Airports Authority and the Vancouver Airport Authority were able to tap debt markets in 2020 to shore up their liquidity. But airports in Montreal, Calgary and Ottawa, however, appear to be on far shakier ground and may need to take more drastic action.

Aéroports de Montréal, or ADM, which runs Montreal’s Trudeau and Mirabel airports, last month raised its airport improvement fee to $35 from $30 and adjusted landing charges for cargo flights. But the move was not enough to avoid having its debt downgraded to single-A from single-A (high) by DBRS Morningstar. “In absence of stronger assistance from the federal government, the financial stress faced by ADM is likely to continue,” DBRS added.

Moody’s Investors Service last week estimated that Canadian airports would need to see traffic return to between 40 per cent and 75 per cent of 2019 levels to stop hemorrhaging cash. They are a long way from that, however, with traffic hovering at about 15 per cent of prepandemic levels. Additional restrictions imposed last month by Ottawa on international travellers are expected to reduce airport revenues by $1-billion this year on top of the $5.5-billion shortfall previously projected for 2020 and 2021 by the Canadian Airports Council.

“While additional rounds of cost-cutting and rate increases are possible, there is a limit to how deeply costs can be cut when airports have an obligation to remain open and rate increases will only make air travel more expensive,” Moody’s noted. “Some airports will likely need to issue additional bonds or increase credit facilities to support their liquidity. The elevated debt levels will deteriorate credit metrics and delay the overall recovery to pre-COVID-19 financial performance.”

By failing to privatize Canada’s airports when it could have, the Trudeau government missed out on an opportunity to reap billions of dollars for taxpayers and enable airports to tap new sources of capital that would have helped them withstand periods such as this one. No one understands that better than Mr. Sabia.

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  • 2 weeks later...
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“Airports in Canada are built on a user-pay model,” Mr. Wilson said. “We have no users.”

Toronto’s island airport seeks private operator

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Wed Mar 31, 2021 - The Globe and Mail
Eric Atkins - Transportation Reporter

The government agency that owns Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport is seeking expressions of interest from investors to operate the airport, which has seen passenger traffic vanish in the pandemic.

The move to privatize operations of the island airport adjacent to downtown Toronto is being made more than a year into the COVID-19 crisis that has forced Porter Airlines and Air Canada to halt all commercial airline traffic at the airport.

Geoffrey Wilson, chief executive officer of PortsToronto, the agency that owns the airport and nearby port, said the potential investor is likely among the 25 or so institutional funds that invest in transportation infrastructure. Those funds include the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan.

The effort to find an investor-operator is driven by a need to ensure the airport can survive the pandemic and emerge from the crisis on strong financial footing, he said. A public-private partnership would be an extension of existing arrangements at the airport, he said, referring to Porter Airlines’ operations, terminal owner Nieuport Aviation and the Ornge air ambulance service.

Billy Bishop is Canada’s ninth-busiest airport by passenger volumes, with 2.8 million travellers in a typical year. The airport has been running on its cash reserves and is required to be financially self-sufficient. In good times, it operates on the landing fees, airport improvement charges and rent paid by tenants, like other Canadian airports.

“That means that there is no back-stop,” Mr. Wilson said. “There is no funding, for example, from our shareholders, the federal government.”

In a statement, PortsToronto said it is seeking “a financial investor that would be interested in operating the airport under lease ... in an effort to reduce PortsToronto’s overall debt position, restore and enhance liquidity; enable ongoing and future infrastructure investment; and ensure the airport’s long-term viability.”

“Airports in Canada are built on a user-pay model,” Mr. Wilson said. “We have no users.”

John Gradek, a lecturer on aviation leadership at McGill University in Montreal, said PortsToronto’s move underlines the crisis faced by the country’s air industry.

“They don’t see travel returning very quickly. They’re turning to the market to provide them with capital to invest in core activities at the airport,” Mr. Gradek said. “They don’t see much cash coming in from operations. They want cash from markets.”

Airlines, airports and the companies that serve them have laid off thousands of employees since the pandemic struck. Porter Airlines, the island airport’s main carrier, Sunwing Airlines Inc. and Transat AT Inc. TRZ-T unchno change
have suspended operations amid a resurgent pandemic that has closed borders and prompted government to impose travel restrictions.

The federal government, the landlord for ports and airports, in the fall offered rent relief or deferrals to Canada’s airports. PortsToronto received a reduction in the gross revenue charge it pays to Ottawa, an amount that fell, in any case, owing to the loss of airplane traffic.

The Greater Toronto Airports Authority, operator of Toronto Pearson International Airport, last week said 2020 passenger volumes fell by 74 per cent from a year earlier.

Airports rely on passenger traffic for 90 per cent of their revenue and face a total of $5.5-billion in lost revenue for 2020 and 2021. To survive, the airports have taken on a total of $2.8-billion in debt, said Daniel-Robert Gooch, president of the Canadian Airports Council.

“This situation has been incredibly challenging for all the airports,” Mr. Gooch said. “Everybody is looking at whatever they can to be creative in terms of how ... [to] get through this.”

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