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Edmonton International Airport (EIA/YEG)

a clear pro privatization opinion

I'll echo the sentiment. Out of personal experience, the overall positive change, in terms of fees and quality of the service, when an Airport is privatized is mind boggling.
Pre-2014 Brazil's airports were, for the most part, federally owned, and they SUCKED. They were outdated, small, with poor infrastructure, poor transit connections, horrible and expensive services, high fees, etc.
Starting in 2009-10 the Feds started privatizing almost all of the major airports (the one notable exception, Rio's Santos Dumont (SDU) Airport, at the time, ended up privatized later, anyways), as preparation for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
Between 2010 and 2013 we saw these once crumbling pieces of transportation infrastructure be dragged out of the 19050s (when most of them were built) and into the 21st century.
I stopped feeling ashamed every time I spoke to someone from other countries, including other developing countries poorer than Brazil, because now our airports were actually up to par with what you'd expect from international airports.

At that same time, the companies started working to boast their numbers, to make the economics work, so the country saw a rise of air travel, as the airports essentially started an arms race to attract new flights, especially international.
For context, 8 of the 10 busiest airports in the country are within a radius that, in Canada, would comprise an area about the size of central + southern Alberta, with some cities, like Sao Paulo and Rio having up to 3 airports within less than a 2-hr drive, so there's actual competition for flights amongst them. Prices came down, supply went up, and it was very much sustainable and steady growth until the pandemic hit. And since 2022 most airports have already surpassed pre-pandemic highs.

Privatization is the way to go for our airports in Canada. I don't see absolutely ANY advantage in keeping the as they are.
 
The board of directors for the airport are appointed by all of the surrounding municipalities and the government of Canada. This is a recipe for stagnation by consultation with competing interests. The G of C like to micro manage every little thing. A private company would have a very focused approach to running the airport.
 
As much as we would all love for them to expand to YEG, I just don't see it happening unfortunately.
At first I was thinking the same thing. Air France and KLM are partners so they probably wouldn’t want to compete with one another. On the other hand Schipol has limited slots available so having Air France complementing their service out of YEG might be an option.
 
The board of directors for the airport are appointed by all of the surrounding municipalities and the government of Canada. This is a recipe for stagnation by consultation with competing interests. The G of C like to micro manage every little thing. A private company would have a very focused approach to running the airport.
It may feel like stagnation in the last few years, but a lot of that relates to the effects on travel of COVID. There was actually a lot of expansion to Edmonton's airport after the airport authority took over things and likewise elsewhere to. A lot of expansion and facility improvements were funded by airport fees.

Regardless of who runs the airport itself, the Feds will remain in control of aviation and regulation of airlines, so privatization would probably not change much regarding government management.
 
Canadian airports aren't amazing, but have you seen most airports in the US? Fully privatized airports have completely different incentives. Often you will see areas that intentionally don't have seating to drive people to retail, inadequate security screening that requires you to arrive hours earlier, paid WiFi and generally poor infrastructure. I mean, it's not like you can shop around to select the airport with the best customer experience -- in Edmonton, you essentially have to pick YEG or maybe YYC.

The current model of independent corporations that operate airports and pay rent to the government seems like it is working. I doubt selling off airports is going to result in any better passenger experience.
 
Canadian airports are already privatized (non profit private operators). They are no longer run by the federal government.
Oh contra. It is a collective organized for the common good not private



A nonprofit organization (NPO), also known as a nonbusiness entity[1] or nonprofit institution,[2] and often referred to simply as a nonprofit (not followed by a noun), is a legal entity organized and operated for a collective, public or social benefit, as opposed to an entity that operates as a business aiming to generate a
 
I think the term privatized generally means sold off to a for profit business. Particularly with the current board structure, I feel the airport authority is still publicly controlled, even though no longer controlled solely by the Feds.

Personally I prefer more local control, which the current structure has. One problem with selling to a business entity is it could be based elsewhere and not have much interest in the good of the local community.

Our telephone company, which was once publicly and locally run, now is neither. So local control is hard to guarantee once something is sold off to a private company even if it is kept local initially.
 
The YYC Board of Directors consists of 11 out of 14 members from the city or the chamber of commerce. A very focused group that does not have to pander to a myriad of interests or priorities.
YEG on the other hand have only six members from the city out of fourteen with none of them from the chamber of commerce. Let that sink in for a minute and then wonder why YYC is able to make better business decisions.
It is all well and good being inclusive but you spend way too many resources trying to accommodate everyone.
A camel is horse designed by a committee as the saying goes and that is what we have.
 
Here's a look at the transborder routes from Edmonton in 2023.
Top US Routes (2023).png

Top US Destinations by Passengers Flown (2023).png

US Seats by Airline (2023).png

All data is from here: https://www.transportation.gov/poli...l-air-passenger-and-freight-statistics-report
 
Canadian airports are already privatized (non profit private operators). They are no longer run by the federal government.
There is a difference between having a private entity operating an airport and having a private entity owning an airport. The feds own the land and get rent paid every year. The devil will be in the details, but selling the land the airport sits on to a private entity doesn't seem like a great idea.
 
Very interesting how Canada's largest airline and I believe our largest international airline too, is not #1 or #2, but #5 for US seats here.

I've often called to our two major airlines a duopoly, but perhaps a regional monopoly in most places is closer to the truth.
 

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