For months, the federal government has been quietly deliberating behind closed doors about the possibility of selling off Canadian airports. Now airports and airlines are pushing back, saying privatization would drive up passenger fees and make the air industry less competitive.
Airlines and airports across the country have joined together for a public information campaign to discuss the downfalls of selling off airport assets to the highest bidder. The case against for-profit ownership is highlighted on the campaign’s website, NoAirportSellOff.ca.
In December, the group drafted a letter to Finance Minister Bill Morneau and Transport Minister Marc Garneau. The letter states that with no “meaningful” consultations, “clearly articulated” policy objectives or “comprehensive” assessment of the impact, “airport privatization would fail the most elementary test of stewardship of the public interest.”
Airports in Canada are operated by not-for-profit airport authorities and receive no government funding. Airports contribute over $1 billion per year in rents and other fees to the federal government.