Calgary’s Airport Among the Most Expensive Airports in Canada

Update: see previous post July 24, 2010 – Calgary Monthly Parking (Highest Price in Canada), November 28, 2010 Calgary’s Airport Among the Most Expensive Airports in Canada, November 27, 2010 Calgary Snowmobiler Charged after Allegedly trying to Evade RCMP Four (4) Times, November 17, 2010 Bill 16, the Traffic Safety (Distracted Driving) Amendment Act, 2010 (Alberta), October 24, 2010 Parking Prices in Toronto Ranked One of the Highest in Canada, October 4, 2010 Albertans are Most Distracted Driver’s in Canada,

see story in the Toronto Sun

It certainly costs a lot to live in Alberta, especially Calgary. Calgary has the highest rates in Canada for parking.

CALGARY – Travellers flying out of Calgary’s airport will soon have to pay the highest airport improvement fees in the country.

The Airport Improvement Fee, tacked on to the tickets of all travellers departing Calgary International Airport, will rise $3 beginning March 1, 2011 to $25, spokeswoman Jody Mosley said Saturday.

That hike will make Calgary one of the most expensive airport to fly from in the country, joining Toronto’s Pearson International Airport and Montreal-Trudeau Airport, both of which also have $25 fees.

By comparison, Ottawa International Airport charges $15, the same as the Vancouver International Airport’s improvement fee, which drops to $5 for flights within B.C.

It also costs $15 to fly from Stanfield International Airport in Halifax, a fee which will rise to $20 on Jan. 1, 2011.

Both the Edmonton and Winnipeg airports charge $20.

The fee is used to expand and improve airports, said Mosley.

“We receive no level of funding from any level of government,” she said.

“And we are also responsible for developing and growing the airport to meet the needs of the city and the region.”

The increase is needed to fund an ambitious $3-billion expansion project set to begin in 2011 that will see the terminal double in size and a new runway built.

“Those are two really important pieces of infrastructure,” she said. “They’re needed because of capacity issues at the airport and we need to pay for them.”

Work on the projects is expected to start next year with the runway expected to be finished in 2014 and the terminal expansion opened in 2015.

Waiting to catch a flight to Vancouver, passenger Nick Uttley said even though increased fees are tough to swallow there’s really no way around it for people who want to fly.

“Unless there’s a better way to travel, you have to fly sometimes,” he said.

“It’s hard to believe (Calgary) is a lot higher than Vancouver.

“I thought Vancouver was one of the most expensive.”

Even with the increase, Uttley said he likely won’t stop taking flights in Calgary, which he does three or four times a year.

“It depends on the weather – if it’s winter, I’ll fly but in the summertime I might drive,” he said.

“It’s a little pricey but there’s not much you can do.”

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