Geneva/Ottawa, 4 May 2004 - "Stakeholders deserve better than the Greater Toronto Airport Authority's (GTAA) appalling financial performance over the past year," said Giovanni Bisignani, Director General and CEO of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) on the eve of the GTAA's annual general meeting. "Airlines cannot continue to foot the bill for the airport's gross disregard of the industry-wide cost reduction. It is high time that the airport reins in costs and ends extravagance," warned Bisignani.

GTAA reported a 34% increase in operating costs for 2003 over 2002 and a budget overrun of 18%. "The GTAA is not only out of touch with fundamental industry realities, it's performance indicates an inability to comprehend even the most basic of business principles: controlling costs," said Cliff Mackay, President of the Air Transport Association of Canada (ATAC).

Counter to its stated objective of fiscal responsibility, the GTAA chooses to pass the burden of its mistakes and miscalculations on to air travelers and their airlines in the form of exorbitant fee increases. "The airport's continued capital expenditure based on inflated traffic forecasts will only exacerbate the situation in the coming years," said Mackay.

IATA and ATAC demand that the GTAA urgently review its operations and capital expenditure plans. Immediate and drastic cost control measures must be implemented and the GTAA's ill-conceived business and expansion plans must be reviewed against the current air transport business environment.

"Sadly, the results that GTAA will present its stakeholders validate our longstanding calls for better governance of this vital public infrastructure," said Bisignani. "GTAA's stakeholders including the Government of Canada must demand that the airport take responsibility for getting its house in order. Simply writing a higher number on the monthly bill is not acceptable," said Bisignani.


Editors note: The Air Transport Association of Canada (ATAC) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) have jointly released this statement.