Airport fees rising

THE AIRPORT is raising passenger fees it charges airlines and the increase may be passed to those buying tickets.

THE AIRPORT is raising passenger fees it charges airlines and the increase may be passed to those buying tickets.

The increases as of April 1 raises the cost of passengers either arriving or leaving by $2, making the fee $14 or $28 for a round trip.

Northwest Regional Airport manager Carman Hendry said the increase is a “direct result of the continued rising costs incurred by the airport to the facilities maintenance, energy and capital expenditures.”

He also indicated that the increase was less than first projected.

The increase, which could amount to as much as $220,000 a year if the airport handles 110,000 passengers a year, will be used to make improvements at the facility, Hendry added.

The increase is $1 a trip less than what was first anticipated, he said.

And, overall, the $220,000 projection works out to just over 20 per cent on an airport budget of approximately $1.9 million.

Hawkair general manager Rod Hayward doesn’t necessarily oppose the increase but says the airline has no idea why the airport wants the money nor exactly what it wants to do with it.

“That’s a lot of money and that’s my question. What do they want to do with it? We’ve never seen any kind of budget or financials,” said Hayward.

“I’ve asked the city, which is part of the airport society and never received a response. I’ve asked the chamber of commerce, which is part of the airport society, and they never got back to me,” he added.

“There doesn’t appear to be any accountability. Maybe it’s realistic and maybe not. I just don’t know.”

Angela Mah, who speaks for Air Canada Jazz, did not comment on the increased passenger fees.

“What I can tell you is that passenger fees are just one of the many factors that affect schedules and fares,” she said.

Hayward did not yet know if Hawkair will pass along the increase to its passengers.

“Sometimes we can pass along increase and sometimes we can’t,” he said.

“If one airline, such as Air Canada, decides to eat it, then we have to as well,” Hayward added.

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