Newsletter Graphic
February 2014 Newsletter
Canadian, U.S. Airports Welcome Promise
of a North American Approach to
Trusted Travellers
On February 20th, Airports Council International-North America and the Canadian Airports Council welcomed the joint commitment of Canada, the United States, and Mexico to develop a North America-wide trusted traveler program.

Trusted traveler programs provide pre-registered and qualified passengers with an improved border experience while enhancing security. According to the joint statement, the North American program will be established in 2014 and start with mutual recognition of the three countries' NEXUS, Global Entry, SENTRI and Viajero Confiable programs.

"North America's airports commend President Obama, Prime Minister Harper and President Pe�a Nieto for this landmark agreement," said ACI-NA President and CEO Kevin M. Burke.  "A North American trusted traveler program is an important next step in strengthening the commitment to free trade and cultural exchange among the U.S., Canada and Mexico, and streamlining entry for participating passengers will help position air travel as a competitive, attractive option for tourists in all three countries."

"North America's airports have long supported the use of technology and innovative programs to improve both security and the passenger experience," said CAC President Daniel-Robert Gooch. "A North America-wide trusted traveler program can dramatically improve the flow of frequent travelers between Canada, the U.S. and Mexico by focusing border resources where they can be most effective."

Mexico is the top overseas destination for Canadians travelling abroad while Mexicans are among the top 10 visitors to Canada - a third of them travelling on business.  However, the 2009 introduction of a visa requirement for Mexicans led to an immediate 55% decrease in overnight visits. While tourism indicators suggest that travel to Canada from Mexico is on its way back to pre-visa levels, visas are understood to stifle travel demand by as much as 30% - representing hundreds of millions of dollars in lost tourism spending for Canada.

"Canada's airports understand and appreciate the role that the visas have in screening who can come to Canada," said Mr. Gooch.  "While a North America-wide trusted traveler program can be a boon for boosting some segments of travel, such as business travel, the ultimate boost for Canadian tourism will come when all legitimate visitors are able to come here with fewer hassles."

PriceWaterhouseCoopers projects that Mexico is likely to be among the world's top 10 economies by 2030. Trade between Canada and Mexico has grown at an average rate of 11.5% since 1993.

The announcement came during the North American Leaders' Summit in Toluca, Mexico, between Prime Minister Stephen Harper, United States President Barack Obama, and Enrique Pe�a Nieto, the president of Mexico.
Canada's Aviation Sector Welcomes Continued Focus on Tourism by Canadian Chamber
On February 6th, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce unveiled its Top 10 Barriers to Competitiveness, an initiative which began two years ago to draw attention to the barriers that are holding back Canada's progress and to urge all levels of government to act more swiftly to improve our country's ability to compete globally.

The Chamber once again recognizes that aviation enables all the other sectors of the tourism community. The Chamber also notes that high fees and added taxes on consumers and industry by the federal government have contributed to a drop in Canada's position among the world's tourism destinations from seventh place to nearly out of the top 20 in just a decade.

The CAC and National Airlines Council of Canada welcomed the Chamber's continued recognition of 'uncompetitive travel and tourism strategies' as one of the top barriers to competitiveness for 2014.

"There is no doubt that high transportation fees, and added government taxes represent significant challenges for the aviation industry. Canada's aviation sector welcomes the Chamber's continued focus to improve Canada's competitiveness in travel and tourism," said CAC President Daniel-Robert Gooch. "In addition to revisiting the aviation industry's cost structure, there are several policy areas worth exploring that have a significant role to play in improving the industry's competitiveness, such as increasing access to Canada for transiting passengers by expanding the current Transit Without Visa program, allocating additional resources for border services, and securing adequate funding for security screening."

"Canada's large air carriers commend the Canadian Chamber of Commerce's continued focus on improving the competitiveness of our travel and tourism sectors," said National Airlines Council of Canada Executive Director Marc-Andr� O'Rourke. "Canada's aviation sector creates jobs and economic activity across a wide spectrum of industries and expands markets for tourism. While these benefits are significant, unfortunately the aviation sector is being hindered from achieving its full potential. With proper public policy adjustments, the aviation sector could be contributing even more," added Mr. O'Rourke.
The Chamber calls on the Government of Canada to substantially increase marketing efforts to attract visitors from emerging and mature markets and implement a cross-sectional examination of the travel sector with special attention to the high public costs assumed by aviation customers.
ACI Announces Recipients of the 2013 ASQ Awards
Airports Council International (ACI) announced on February 19th the recipients of the prestigious 2013 Airport Service Quality (ASQ) Awards.

These awards represent passengers' views on 34 key service indicators and are an objective and accurate indicator of the top world-wide performing airports.

Three Canadian airports were recognized this year:

Best Airport by Region - North America
Ottawa (2nd place)

Best Airport by Size (2-5 million passengers)
Ottawa (2nd place)
Halifax (finalist)

Best Airport with Fewer than 2 million Passengers a Year
Quebec City

"As airports face the increasingly competitive and demanding aviation market, it is crucial to keep a focus on meeting and exceeding passenger expectations. Airport managers need factual intelligence to guide their efforts and optimize their investments. The ASQ Survey is a tool that provides data that enables airports to identify what their passengers value most and what the airport community needs to do to achieve excellence in customer service. The results over time demonstrate that airports are paying close attention to the feedback from their passengers and undertaking corrective action to improve the passenger experience," said ACI World Director General Angela Gittens.

The ASQ Awards are presented in four categories that include: Best Airport by Region, Best Airport by Size, Best Small Airport and Best Improvement.

"We can see that airport community leaders are continuously reviewing and enhancing their services. Airports work diligently to improve their performance by adopting customer focused strategies," said Ms. Gittens.

As the industry's most comprehensive customer service benchmarking tool, the ACI ASQ survey reliably captures passengers' immediate appraisal from check-in through departure at the gate at more than 285 airports.

For more information, please visit ACI's website.
Growth and Development Take Off at YYC
More than 14 million travellers went through the Calgary International Airport in 2013, an increase of 4.9% from 2012, marking an all-time record for the airport. Passenger and cargo numbers for 2013 broke previous records and cargo tonnage grew 2.1% to over 119,000 tonnes last year.

In addition to being named one of the Top 50 performing airports in North America and one of Alberta's Top Employers, the airport plays a key role in the economic development of Alberta and contributes over $6 billion to the economy.

Here's a look back at the extensive route development work, cargo connections, and industry-leading commercial operations that helped make YYC one of Canada's fastest growing airports and among the top three for passenger traffic in the country.
Air Service

-WestJet introduces new regional service with the entry of Encore in 2013, with the launch of three new routes to Brandon, Fort St. John and Nanaimo. WestJet also began seasonal direct service to Dallas-Fort Worth and Miami, and increased capacity on a number of regional and U.S. destinations.

-Air Canada announced plans to increase service to two European destinations with the introduction of Boeing 777's on flights to Frankfurt and London starting in the summer of 2014. The airline increased capacity on a several regional and international destinations by introducing three daily flights from Red Deer to Calgary.

-Air Canada's Calgary-Tokyo service remains YYC's only direct connection to Asia, but the possibility of a Calgary to Beijing flight is being explored.

-British Airways announced that Calgary would be one of the first airports in Canada to see their new Boeing 787 Dreamliner on their YYC to London route.

Land Development

-Work continues to move ahead with the construction of YYC's new runway and international terminal. Once complete, YYC will have double the amount of terminal space, 22 new aircraft gates, and the longest runway in Canada capable of landing the largest aircraft in the world with fewer payload restrictions. The new runway is set to open in June of this year.

-The Calgary Airport Authority opened a 125,000 square foot air cargo building and added 538,000 square feet of dedicated cargo apron equipped with in-ground fueling.

-A new 150,000 square foot hangar and charter terminal for Sunwest Aviation.

-An 80,000 square foot hangar and office development for the North West Group and Air Partners.

-Construction began on two new 40,000 square-foot hangars for Fixed Base Operator Million Air, a new hotel, and additional industrial and office buildings.

International Facilities Project

-Construction of the new international concourse, set to open in October 2015, is well underway and several milestones were achieved including the installation of 588 geothermal wells, which is an efficient way to help heat and cool the building.

-Installation of baggage system installation has
also commenced.
Northwest Regional Airport Projects Growth Over the Next 20 years
The Northwest Regional, located in British Columbia and serving the communities of Terrace and Kitimat, released its 20-year master plan last month to address short- and long-term priorities to improve the overall customer experience.

"We've got a good, solid plan to work towards now," said Northwest Regional Airport Society President Ron Burnett.

The airport's short-term priorities includes improving the main terminal building to create more space at the check-in counters and pre-board waiting area, expanding security and baggage holding area, and developing the main apron to provide space for larger aircraft.

Longer-term projects involve upgrading lighting and electrical fixtures, building an airport fire station, and adding amenities such as new restaurants,  parking lots, a commercial development area, and a light industrial area.

If the airport is able to secure regularly scheduled international air service, it would also like to develop facilities to house the Canadian Border Services Agency.

Airbiz, the consulting firm who wrote the plan, said it was built "based on reasonable, conservative forecasts," according to the Terrace Standard.

The forecasts show that strong demand will continue in the short-term at least. The airport saw 177,600 passengers in 2013, a 28% increase from 2012. The current growth projects that the airport will surpass 250,000 passengers in the next five years.

The plan is intended to be a flexible document that will enable the airport to adapt to future development at the airport so that plans remain consistent with the needs of the community and in the region.
St.John's International Airport Prepares for Future Growth
The main terminal building at the St. John's International Airport will be the main site of a major construction project set to begin in the spring of this year. The construction is part of the $200 million airport expansion plan that was announced in  February 2011.

In its 10-year capital plan, St. John's International Airport Authority planned to make improvements to virtually all areas of the airport's property, remaining simultaneously open and under construction through at
least 2020.

Currently, the airport's facilities are equipped to accommodate about 900,000 passengers a year. However, passenger numbers reached nearly 1.5 million in 2012 and are expected to increase to 1.9 million by 2020.

As a result, the airport authority has already moved ahead with the construction of a 30,000 square foot ramp services building to support cargo service, expanded the apron at the terminal building to allow an extra five planes to park overnight, overhauled passenger bridges connecting the main terminal to arriving aircraft, and spaces have been added to long-term parking.

The expansion of the main terminal building, one of the most significant of the entire project, is subdivided into two parts, the East Expansion and West Expansion.Changes will include the movement of pre-board screening to the first floor of the building, extensions to the check-in counter, added spaces for food and beverage sales, and two additional flight gates.

The first phase of construction will be completed in 2017 on the east end of the air terminal building.
Meet the New Recruits Added to YVR's Feathered Arsenal
Emily Fleming, a raptor biologist and YVR site manager, poses with Hercules, a juvenile bald eagle. Photo credit: Howard Slutsken.
Last month, the Vancouver Airport Authority spoke about its innovative wildlife program and how it keeps wild birds as far away as possible from aircraft.

"Safety is first and paramount for everybody - passengers on the plane, the flight crew and also we want to protect the birds as well," said Vancouver Airport Authority Airside Operations Director Brett Patterson in an interview with Global News. "So, we developed a program here that will keep the feathered birds away from the metalled birds."

YVR's wildlife management program has evolved through the years and employs a variety of methods.

"We've used everything from standard pyrotechnics to lasers, sirens on our cars," said Vancouver Airport Authority Wildlife Program Specialist David Bradbeer. "We've expanded our program to include animal stimulus, and we have our Border Collie program."

To help bolster the program, the Vancouver airport brought on two new recruits: Hercules and Goliath.

"We've used everything from standard pyrotechnics to lasers, sirens on our cars," said Vancouver Airport Authority Wildlife Program Specialist David Bradbeer in an interview with Global News. "We've expanded our program to include animal stimulus, and we have our Border Collie program."
Goliath - or Golly, as he's known to his friends - takes a break to pose with Emil. Golly is a harris hawk and responsible for keeping away smaller birds.

The wildlife specialists at YVR say the hawks and falcons, such as Goliath, do a good job of scaring away the flocks of little shore birds.

But, they don't do as well with the bigger birds. To address this issue, YVR introduced Hercules to their feathered ranks in October 2013.

Hercules, a two-year-old bald eagle, was hatched in captivity and raised specifically for this purpose - to chase bigger shore birds.

For more information about the airport's wildlife management program, check out YVR's Connection blog post featuring Wildlife Program Specialist, David Bradbeer.
World Passenger Traffic Ends the Year Strong
Global passenger traffic ended 2013 strong with year-over-year growth of over 6% for the month of December. This represents the month with the highest growth over a twelve month period. Both international and domestic traffic performed above the annualized average achieving growth rates of 6.6% and 6.2% respectively.

For the year as a whole, 2013 saw passenger traffic increase by 4%. This growth in air travel occurs in a year that was riddled with economic challenges ranging from the cyclical slowdown in emerging markets to the lingering economic uncertainties in the euro area and the United States.

North America remains at relatively modest levels, but it was a banner month for passenger traffic with a growth of 6.6% for the month of December. This represents an above average month for North America since year-over-year growth for 2013 was 1.3%.

Air freight volumes increased by over 3% for the month of December. Despite a global economy that remained sluggish for most of 2013, air freight markets still inched up by 1% in 2013 as compared to 2012. On an annualized basis, international freight traffic increased by 0.9% whereas domestic freight increased by 1.2% on the year. With an overall rise in business confidence coupled with the recent improvements in international trade, the recent rise in air freight volumes signals a potential revival.

The higher growth in North America for the last quarter points towards a recovery. Air freight volumes grew by 2.9% in December. This is above the 2013 annualized growth, which was almost flat at 0.5% over 2012.

Two of North America's leading air freight hubs posted gains in freight volumes for 2013. Memphis (MEM) and Louisville (SDF), home of FedEx and UPS, increased by 3% and 2.5% respectively.
Industry News Quick Links
Opinion: Airport the best indicator of Edmonton's success -
Edmonton Sun (February 21, 2014)

Passenger numbers continue to climb at Nanaimo Airport -
Nanaimo Bulletin (February 20, 2014)

New traffic record set at Saskatoon airport - Global News
(February 20, 2014)

Canada, Mexico sign deals to boost trade, growth, air travel - CTV News (February 18, 2014)

Winnipeg Airports Authority launching magazine in June -
Winnipeg Free Press (February 18, 2014)

10 amazing reasons to visit Canada - USA TODAY (February 17, 2014)

New public buildings reflect spirit of the North - Globe and Mail
(February 17, 2014)

World First at Montreal-Trudeau: Generic Self-Bag-Drop Stations - Reuters (February 12, 2014)

$12-million cargo warehouse coming to Hamilton airport - (February 11, 2014)
To submit a story, please e-mail:
Elias Rassi
Manager of Communications and Public Affairs
Canadian Airports Council
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In This Issue
Canadian, U.S. Airports Welcome Promise of a North American Approach to Trusted Travellers
Canada's Aviation Sector Welcomes Continued Focus on Tourism by Canadian Chamber
ACI Announces Recipients of the 2013 ASQ Awards
Growth and Development Take Off at YYC
Northwest Regional Airport Projects Growth Over the Next 20 Years
St.John's International Airport Prepares for Future Growth
Meet the New Recruits Added to YVR's Feathered Arsenal
World Passenger Traffic Ends the Year Strong
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