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Air passenger fee bylaw presented to Powell River city council

Councillors and mayor will consider a $12 charge for commercial travellers leaving airport or lake
EXPAND COLLECTION: City of Powell River councillors were presented a bylaw that would provide for a $12 air passenger fee for both the Powell River Airport and Powell Lake seaplane base for people who are travelling by airline.

City of Powell River council will consider establishing a $12 air passenger fee for Powell River Airport and the Powell Lake seaplane base.

At the January 27 finance committee meeting, Scott Randolph, director of properties, development and communications, provided a report on establishing a bylaw to collect the air passenger fee from both locations. Currently, the fee is only collected at the airport.

With Harbour Air planning to establish airline service from the Powell Lake seaplane base in March, council is considering collecting the fee from passengers leaving from the lake.

“As I reported to you at the January 18 committee of the whole meeting, Harbour Air has plans to operate at the Powell Lake seaplane base,” said Randolph. “I’m here to repeal the 2016 bylaw that allows the city to collect $12 per passenger from commercial air carriers that leave our airport. Currently, it only covers the municipal airport. It does not cover the seaplane base.

“The new bylaw, which will replace the old bylaw, includes the Powell Lake seaplane base. I’m introducing it for first, second and third reading for the February 3 council meeting.”

Councillor Cindy Elliott asked how the fees are set and reviewed.

“Does it happen regularly or is it set by someone else?” asked Elliott.

Randolph said 2016 was the last change, so they haven’t been reviewed since then. He said it’s probably to look at the fee and see if the city aligns with other airports in the region of a similar size.

Elliott asked if there are limits to what the city charges based on what Transport Canada says, or is it strictly at council’s discretion?

Randolph said he believes it’s at council’s discretion.

The committee gave unanimous consent to send the proposed bylaw to the February 3 council meeting for the first three readings.

According to a staff report, the fee is collected to help cover the cost of operating the airport and maintain its infrastructure.