New fees could cost $8 million
Latest NAV Canada offering ignores North, First Air's Davis says

by Doug Ashbury
Northern News Services

NNSL (Apr 27/98) - The president and chief executive officer of First Air is criticizing NAV Canada's latest discussion paper.

"Despite the inclusion of a section devoted to the North, the discussion paper leads us to believe that NAV Canada fails to recognize the impact the fees have and will have on the North compared to our southern counterparts," Bob Davis said.

Later this year, NAV Canada, which owns Canada's civil air navigation services, plans to put in place Phase 2 of its fee scheduled.

After Nov. 1, NAV Canada will impose fees of about $9 million on First Air to operate its scheduled flights.

The $9 million will be offset $3.8 million with the elimination of the air transportation tax.

Northerners will cough up $5 million through higher ticket and freight prices.

"It is not inconceivable that with all Northern air carriers combined, the net impact to the North of NAV Canada fees could be as high as $8 million," Davis said.

"Recent NAV Canada advertising and president's articles have stated that air carriers have exaggerated the impact of NAV Canada fees and stated that the net impact would be three per cent of airline operating revenues for phase one and a lower impact for phase two. We believe this is simply an attempt to hide the real dollars impacting the North."

According to Davis, most other Canadians will see "little change" in their transportation costs.

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