The Canadian Airports Council (CAC) has expressed concern over the prospect of an additional US government fee being imposed on passengers flying by air between Canada and the Unites States.
"There already is a significant tax burden on air travellers flying between Canada and the US, which negatively impacts the ability of Canadian airports and the Canadian aviation sector to compete fairly," says CAC Chairman and Interim President Bill Restall.
"We share the concern of our tourism partners that an additional fee would further drive Canadian travellers to take to their cars and fly out of US border airports."
CAC was responding to a proposed 'passenger inspection fee' of $5.50 per passenger outlined in the draft 2012 US federal budget that has been sent to Congress.
The new fee, which would be in addition to about $45 roundtrip in US government fees already charged on trans-border plane tickets and a host of Canadian charges on air travel, would add to a passenger ticket tax burden among the highest in the world.
News of the proposed fee comes as increased focus is being given to Canadian air travellers flying out of US airports due to lower costs.
A travel intentions survey released by the Hotel Association of Canada (HAC) this week revealed that 21% of Canadian leisure travellers said they travelled by car to a US airport in 2010 to take a trip using less expensive airline tickets for US or foreign travel – up from 18% in 2009.
An additional 11 per cent of travellers said they had not done so in the past, but that they might do so this year.