-IATA Calls for Review of National Airports Policy-

;"Once again we see clearly that the Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA), Toronto's airport monopoly, is out-of-step with the industry. Rather than follow commercial common-sense and get costs under control, their penchant for double digit price increases is now aimed at the air traveller," said Giovanni Bisignani, Director General and CEO of the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

Bisignani's comments were in response to the GTAA's announcement of a 25% increase in its airport improvement fee (AIF) from C$12 per passenger to C$15. IATA is in a longstanding dispute with GTAA over funding for its extravagant airport expansion project which generated over C$6 billion in debt.

As the industry struggles to recover from US$30 billion in losses accumulated over its three worst years, cost reduction is an industry priority. Record high fuel prices are adding to cost pressures. IATA is working with airport and air navigation service providers around the world to set efficiency targets that will result in meaningful cost reductions. "While the rest of the industry is looking to increase efficiency, Toronto is in a league of its own with respect to price hikes. GTAA increased the landing fee rate by 208% since 1998 and we don't see any relief in sight," said Bisignani.

;"This increase is yet another reminder of the need for a comprehensive review of the National Airports policy," said Bisignani. IATA continues to urge the Government to reduce Crown Rents charged to the airport and improve the governance of airport authorities. "Successful resolution of the issues at Toronto is essential to the health of Canada's air transport industry. We hope that Minister Lapierre will make a review of the National Airports Policy and successful resolution of the Toronto issue priorities for his Ministry," said Bisignani.


;Note for Editors: ;GTAA increased the landing fee rate year-on-year by 35.6% in 1999, 1.2% in 2000, 12.1% in 2001, 22.0% in 2002, 28.8% in 2003 and 27.4% in 2004.