By Brett Bain
Historically, things in airports around parking and transportation have until the last few years, been static. Customers generally followed three standard options for getting to the airport. They drove themselves and parked their vehicle at the airport, they took a taxi or limousine, or they were dropped off by a friend or family member.
Airports in Canada – in most cases – are non-profit organizations that operate under a lease arrangement with the federal government. They do not receive any funding from the government to operate and in fact, pay a minimum of 10% of gross revenues in tax back to the federal government. In addition, they are also required to pay property tax to the jurisdiction in which they reside. As a result, Canadian airports are very reliant on the revenue generated from non-aviation sources which consists primarily of parking, concessions within the airport and real estate revenues. These revenues are reinvested back into the airport for operational expenses and for airport infrastructure and flight development.
Like many businesses, airports have been in transition over the last few years. If we think back a bit, we can all remember that at one time telephone, internet and cable companies were all separate entities which provided a product or service to their customers. These businesses have all blended together into single entities over the last few years as technology has created opportunities for companies to enter into new markets. Parking and transportation at airports are now in the early stages of a similar transformation as transit and/or rail services begin to appear in the airport offerings. Airports are both an economic driver for their region and a reflection of the community which they serve. As cities develop new and expanded forms of transportation to serve their citizens, these are also…