YLW Connection - Fall 2008 - (Page 20)

Airport | Material partially repri n t e d w i t h t h e e x p r e s s p e r m i s s i o n o f : “ C A N WES T NEWS S ERVI C E ”, a C a n We s t Pa r t n e r s h i p Growth Across the Country T hese are turbulent times for air travel. Profits at the major carriers are being threatened by unstable fuel prices and passengers are being hit by higher fares and surcharges to cover those additional costs. At the same time, there’s a growing awareness among consumers and corporate leaders of the environmental impact of carbon emissions and concerns over how to reduce them. But take a closer look on the ground - and you’ll find surprisingly aggressive growth. Over the next dozen or so years, more than $7 billion will be plowed into airport infrastructure projects, from adding and upgrading amenities, to wholesale reconstruction. Most of the money for these projects is coming from airport improvement fees collected from passengers and the issuance of bonds by individual airport authorities. Canadian airports have already invested in excess of $9.5 billion in infrastructure improvements over the past 15 years. Much of the planning and budgeting for this expansion was done before the burst of the technology bubble and the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the United States. Since then, the airline industry has been struggling to regain the six-per-cent annual growth it had enjoyed for the previous quarter of a century, said Joseph D’Cruz, professor of strategic management at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Business. “So, we’ve lost seven or eight years of growth,” he said. Recordhigh oil prices have only made the industry’s climb back to recovery more difficult. Major airlines have hiked fuel surcharges and added baggage fees to cushion the increased costs. Others have also slashed jobs and services. All this turbulence comes as another wave ©istockphoto.com / olaf loose of airport expansion is underway. “The difficulty is that the airlines are on a different time horizon than the airports,” says Paul Dempsey, director of the Institute of Air and Space Law at McGill University. “Airport infrastructure has to be planned and financed years ahead of time in order to meet the capacity demands of the future,” he said. “The airlines are faced with immediate problems of profitability and for them, at the moment; this is not the time to expand.” The difficulty is that building a terminal or building a runway or adding a runway requires a much longer time horizon.” Passenger numbers have now passed the pre-2001 level and airports are well-positioned to handle the increase in traffic, says Daniel-Robert Gooch, communications director at the Canadian Airports Council. “We knew this was coming, so airports had to invest in their infrastructure programs,” he says, adding that between 1991 and 2006 passenger levels have risen by 50 per cent. To fund expansion projects, most airport operators have imposed fees on passengers and raised money in the bond markets. But the Canadian Airports Council insists that airport authorities are much more than money collectors with big ambitions. They also contribute to the local economies, especially tourism. The CAC says airports give, not just take - together paying nearly $300 million a year to the federal government in airport rent. Over the next two years Kelowna International Airport (YLW) is investing $36 20 YLW CONNECTION http://www.istockphoto.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of YLW Connection - Fall 2008

Accelerate Communications - YLW Connection - Fall 2008
Airport Services
Building for the Future
Eyes on the Sky
Winter Destinations Announced!
A Brand New Way of Life
YLW's Environmental Initiatives
Runway Extension: Multiple Benefits
Ready to Hit the Slopes?
Airport Growth Across the Country
Technology:Changing the Look of Recruitment
Ten Golden Rules of Lugging your Luggage
Let's Get Technical:iFIDS
The Changing Dynamic of Air Travel
Trivia & Games

YLW Connection - Fall 2008