Chambers of commerce call for investment
The Fédération des chambres de commerce du Québec (FCCQ) and the Chamber of commerce and industry of Saguenay-Fjord (CCISF) call for additional investment to renovate airports, and reduce their expenses.
The organizations themselves in response to the announcement by the minister of Transport, Marc Garneau. The FCCQ and the CCISF would have preferred that the federal government is announcing additional investments for upgrading infrastructure, as well as the decrease of the rents and fees to airport authorities.
“These significant costs increase fares and damage the competitiveness of the regional coverage,” said Stéphane Forget, president and ceo of the FCCQ in a press release. “The airport infrastructure are essential to economic development, particularly in the region, and many of them need to be modernised “, adds Sandra Nightingale, executive vice-president and general director of the CCISF.
“On the occasion of the Summit on the regional air transport, the Quebec government had introduced several measures that we had welcomed, in particular as it relates to the rehabilitation and development of airports. We expect that the federal government follow suit, ” noted the two speakers.
The FCCQ and the CCISF are also asking the federal government to promptly review its aid Program airport capital. Recall that Saguenay has lodged an application to the federal department of Transportation to redo the tarmac of the airport terminal calendar is not able to bear the expense of a jumbo jet like the Boeing 737 Sunwing or Air Transat, forcing the city to pay for shuttles from the STS to cover the distance between the terminal and the parking of aircraft.
The federal member of parliament Richard Martel has denounced the situation created by the dispute between Transport Canada and national Defence.
Chambers of commerce also believes that the federal government must reduce the burdens imposed on airports under its responsibility. “In addition to having to be self-financing, the airport authorities must pay rent to the government, up to 12 % of income. This model has the effect of increasing the rates, undermining the competitiveness of the regional coverage, ” says in the press release.
“The amounts paid by the airport authorities should be reinvested in the quality of infrastructure. The reduction or elimination of these costs would, moreover, reduce the taxes and fees applied to carriers and travelers, ” says Stéphane Forget.
The FCCQ and the CCISF argue that the high cost of domestic flights in Canada is in part due to the federal charges and airport. A round-trip flight of $ 600 in the direction of the United States may be subject to taxes and fees of $ 165. The overloads are limited to $ 69 for flights south of the border.
“A reduction of expenses would help to reduce the cost of tickets, among others, to the airport of Bagotville, which would contribute to tourism and economic development across Quebec,” says Sandra Nightingale.