Some Canadian Airports Are Increasing Travel Fees & Here's What Passengers Should Know

Your next vacation may have just become more expensive.

Trending Editor
A check-in desk at Winnipeg Airport. Right: An airport departure lounge.

A check-in desk at Winnipeg Airport. Right: An airport departure lounge.

Your next trip may be a little bit more expensive, thanks to travel fee increases at several of Canada's major airports.

Although many travellers may not have noticed just yet, a number of Canadian airports have laid out their plans to change the fees they charge passengers.

Some – like Toronto Pearson – have already made the change, implementing higher airport aeronautical rates and airport improvement fees as of January 1, 2023.

This means departing passengers travelling via Canada's largest airport can now expect to pay $35 in fees, up from $30 previously.

Costs also went up for connecting passengers, who are now required to pay $7 to travel through Pearson.

In a statement last year, the airport blamed a "high inflationary environment and ongoing impacts from COVID-19" for the price increase.

And it's not the only airport making a change.

As of April 1, Regina International Airport will be bumping up its passenger facility fee by $10 per departing passenger, taking the total cost from $20 to $30.

In a statement, the airport said that the fee increase is necessary in order to combat "well over $15 million in pandemic losses, rising interest rates, severe inflation, and a $26.7 million runway project."

A CBC News report suggests that Fort McMurray International Airport, in Alberta, may also follow suit.

CEO Denean Robinson confirmed the airport is reviewing its airport improvement fee this year, and is prepared to raise the price if necessary to "raise that top-line revenue growth."

It's bad news for passengers who travel via Fort McMurray, where airport improvement fees are already among the highest in the country.

In fact, with fees here already costing passengers $40 per person, they're the second most-expensive in Canada, only beaten by St. John's International Airport, where fees cost $42.

Also among the airports charging significant fees to departing passengers is Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport, where fees cost $38 per person.

Edmonton Airport, Halifax Stanfield, Ottawa International Airport, Québec City Jean Lesage Airport, J.A. Douglas McCurdy Sydney Airport, Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau Airport and Calgary Airport all currently charge $35.

It's not clear if any other Canadian airports will raise their travel fees before the end of 2023. But, if airports are increasing costs to combat their debts, it's certainly possible.

Over the last few years, the Greater Toronto Airport Authority's debt has risen from $800 million to $7.2 billion, per CTV News.

Similarly, the Vancouver Airport Authority has raised its debt to $1.8 billion, while Montreal Airport Authority's debt rose by $800 million to $3 billion.

There is some good news though. CBC says Calgary airport, which has debts of around $3.3 billion, has promised not to review its fees – for this year, at least.

This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

Helena Hanson
Trending Editor
Helena Hanson is a Senior Editor for Narcity Canada's Trending Desk focused on major news. She previously lived in Ottawa, but is now based in the U.K.
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