News / Calgary

Nenshi ‘not particularly in favour’ of airport privatization

Calgary’s mayor said he’d have to understand the financial model to see how selling Calgary’s airport would benefit citizens

The Federal Liberals have hinted they want to privatize some of Canada's major airports.

REUTERS/Todd Korol/Files

The Federal Liberals have hinted they want to privatize some of Canada's major airports.

Mayor Naheed Nenshi is skeptical about the possibility of privatizing Calgary’s airport.

The country’s major airports are currently run by not-for-profit airport authorities, but the federal government has been looking into selling them off.

“We are not particularly in favour of privatizing this airport away from the Calgary Airport Authority unless there can be real benefits proven to citizens,” Nenshi said on Wednesday.

The Vancouver Airport Authority ran a study estimating that the federal government could raise between $8.7 billion and $40.1 billion by privatizing Canada’s eight largest airports. However, Nenshi said he worries that, due to the high rental rates that Canadian airports pay, it might result in consequences for travellers.

“Any private operator would have to make money, and they can only make money two ways,” he said. “One is by increasing the rents, or increasing their revenues, and number two is by cutting down the costs – and if cutting the costs means poorer service to citizens, that’s a big problem.”

As of March, the Vancouver, Ottawa and Calgary airports have teamed up on a public information campaign to oppose privatization.

– With files from the Toronto Star

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