Edmonton Airports and QuikAir Reach Agreement
Edmonton — QuikAir, which operates a scheduled service from Edmonton City Centre Airport, has been contesting the Access Policy at Edmonton City Centre Airport for a number of months. As a result of extensive discussions, QuikAir has now committed to complying with Edmonton Airports Access Policy effective immediately.
Edmonton Airports President and CEO Scott Clements states, “We are pleased to have reached this agreement, and look forward to continued cooperation with QuikAir.”
“QuikAir is pleased that we have been successful at reaching an out of court agreement with Edmonton Airports,” states company officers Paul Phee and Doug MacPherson. “QuikAir is committed to operating in full compliance with Edmonton City Centre Airport policies.”
In support of the 1995 referendum, which directed scheduled services be moved to Edmonton International Airport, the Edmonton City Centre Airport Access Policy restricts carriers to a set number of passengers per flight. Carriers, including QuikAir, which violate the Access Policy have been required to pay access fees. Edmonton Airports’ Access Policy restricting aircraft will continue to be rigidly enforced.
Effective January 2004, all Edmonton City Centre Airport based scheduled carriers are required to limit operations to 10-seat aircraft or enter into licenses that are aircraft specific. With new small-carrier facilities opening at Edmonton International Airport this winter, all carriers can now be accommodated at Edmonton International Airport.
Edmonton Airports has agreed to purchase the Edmonton City Centre Airport building where QuikAir stages its operations. Edmonton Airports will lease space in the building to QuikAir. This offers flexibility to QuikAir as it considers whether to move its scheduled service to Edmonton International Airport or whether to maintain services at City Centre by modifying its fleet to remain compliant with the January 1, 2004 Access Policy.
In addition to QuikAir, four other carriers operate at Edmonton City Centre Airport. They are Air Mikisew, Corporate Express, Peace Air, and Integra Air.
In 1995, 77% of Edmontonians voted to consolidate scheduled services at Edmonton International Airport. The Access Policy at Edmonton City Centre Airport was established by Edmonton Airports to prevent scheduled carrier operators from returning to Edmonton City Centre Airport, by limiting scheduled passenger services to 10 seat/passenger aircraft. Since implementing the Access Policy, traffic at Edmonton International Airport has increased from 1.6 million passengers in 1995 to 3.8+ million passengers in 2002. Edmonton International Airport now supports non-stop air service to 44 destinations of which 24 are new since 1995. Consolidation of traffic to the Edmonton International Airport is working well.
In 1999, small carriers at Edmonton City Centre Airport requested Edmonton Airports modify the 10 Access Policy, allowing aircraft seating more than 10 passengers to be operated on scheduled services. The operators agreed that they would not carry more than 10 passengers, required flexibility in choosing aircraft, and did not want the Edmonton City Centre Airport restriction to eliminate opportunities in other markets in which they operated. The operators suggested that they could be profitable even without filling the open seats with passengers, through alternative revenue sources such as cargo.
Edmonton Airports agreed to modify the policy to allow 19-seat aircraft to be utilized at the Edmonton City Centre Airport, while clearly maintaining the original restriction that no more than 10 passengers be carried to or from the airport on any given flight. Scheduled air carriers signed an operating license agreeing to comply with this policy.
For the past three years since the modification of the policy, independent monitoring by Edmonton Airports has confirmed that some carriers have operated in non-compliance with the policy. This has caused concerns about unfair competition with 10-seat aircraft operators at Edmonton City Centre Airport. Major carriers serving Edmonton from the Edmonton International Airport indicate that services from the Edmonton City Centre Airport dilute traffic on the Edmonton — Calgary corridor and on northern services, threatening mainline service to all affected communities.
Effective January 2004, all Edmonton City Centre Airport based scheduled carriers are required to limit operations to 10-seat aircraft or enter into licenses that are aircraft specific. A one-year notice of this policy change was provided to all carriers to allow sufficient time to transition the business to Edmonton International Airport or make fleet modifications. Edmonton Airports will continue to work closely with the carriers involved to facilitate the transition.
Edmonton Airports will continue to strongly support scheduled passenger services from Edmonton International Airport through improved terminal facilities that will offer more efficient and dedicated service to small carriers and their passengers.
Three small carriers currently stage their operations from Edmonton International Airport. Swanberg Air serves Grande Prairie, Northwestern Air serves Ft. Smith, and Central Mountain Air serves Calgary, High Level, Lloydminster, Peace River, and Rainbow Lake.
Consistent with the referendum direction, Edmonton Airports will continue to promote scheduled passenger activity at Edmonton International Airport
Edmonton Airports is a not-for-profit organization mandated to manage the region’s aviation assets on behalf of and in the best interest of the Capital Region.