Airport hopes lower fees will bring more flights

Fee reduction will be offset by additional revenue

Abbotsford International Airport

Abbotsford International Airport

The Abbotsford International Airport is looking to secure new service with WestJet by reducing the fees paid by the airline.

Council approved three readings of changes to the airport fee bylaw on Monday, as a report from staff explained they have met with the WestJet Networking Department and are looking to secure new services by reducing fees paid by the airline at the airport.

Reducing the airport charges is anticipated to be offset by more revenue through terminal fees, parking and retail associated with the new flights.

The rates are designed to help the airport complete with the Bellingham, Wash., and Vancouver airports. Vancouver airport has frozen its airline fees until 2020 so carriers can add capacity without additional costs.

The current airport fee bylaw is in effect until Dec. 2015, but since it was set, staff say there has been a shift in the industry, creating downward pressure on airport pricing.

Staff say the change in fees is hoped to attract new and additional flights. It would allow the airport to maintain reserves and build on them to ensure fund are available if  a major expansion is required in the future.