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Airport Improvement Fees

St. John’s International Airport has an Airport Improvement Fee (AIF) that is built in to the price of your airline ticket (departing passengers only). Revenues from the AIF are used to improve the infrastructure of the Airport in order to serve you better and allow us to keep pace with the air transportation needs of our growing province. The Airport Authority is contractually obligated to only use the AIF to finance capital projects that are required to construct or improve airport infrastructure that will directly benefit air travelers.

Since privatization, the Airport Authority has invested $280 million in capital improvements to provide a safe, efficient airport that is capable of handling the travel demands of the region and to enhance the level of service for passengers. These capital improvements are funded through long-term debt financing, including bond and bank financing. These credit facilities are serviced and repaid with revenues generated through Airport Improvement Fees.

Although the Airport Authority has spent $280 million to date, we have only collected 59% of this total in AIF fees. It was important to make these investments in our Airport in advance of collecting the total costs associated with them so that passengers would enjoy the improvements sooner rather than later.

Highlights of the Airport Improvement Program since privatization include the following:

New Airport Terminal Building  2002
Flight Information Display System 2002
Upgrade of Combined Service Building 2005
New Visitor Information Centre 2006
Central De-icing Facility 2007
4th passenger loading bridge 2007
Upgrade of snow-clearing and ice control equipment 2007
Runway 16/34 rehabilitation project 2007
Common-use self service kiosks 2008
Central De-icing Facility Operations Building 2008
Installation of low-visibility taxiway lighting system 2009
5th passenger loading bridge 2011
Common Use Passenger Processing System (CUPPS) 2011
Airport Terminal Apron upgrade 2011
Expanded Airport Terminal Building Apron 2012
Expanded vehicle parking lot 2012
Ramp Services & Cargo Building 2013
New airport access road (“World Parkway”) 2013
Terminal Building Expansion 2015
Category III Instrument Landing System 2015
New and Expanded Rental Car Parking Lot 2016

 

With the unprecedented growth that has been experienced for more than a decade, we recognize our facility must be expanded even further to accommodate additional traffic. It is for this reason that we have endorsed an aggressive $245 million, 10-year Airport Improvement and Expansion Plan that will enhance and expand our facilities even further so that we are able to accommodate the two million annual passengers anticipated to be travelling through our airport by the year 2021.

Highlights of the Airport Improvement and Expansion Plan include a new access road named World Parkway to the Airport Terminal Building that is capable of handling additional vehicular traffic. The current Airport Terminal Building will be expanded to double its current size. Improvements will include more food and beverage options; more comfortable seating areas; a larger pre-board screening area; an expanded baggage/ arrivals area; additional passenger loading bridges, providing comfortable access to the aircraft; additional gates to accommodate more aircraft; and a greater area for overnight aircraft parking. There will also be more parking available for vehicles, including passenger, rental car and employee parking. The first phase of the Terminal Building Expansion Project is slated to begin in 2014 with a 2018 completion date. The second phase will follow thereafter with a scheduled completion date of 2021.

Another major project included in the Airport Improvement and Expansion Plan is the Airport Accessibility and Safety Initiative. This involves preparing the airfield for the installation and operation of a Category III Instrument Landing System by NAV CANADA that will allow aircraft to land and take-off in conditions of very low visibility. This $37.3 million project is jointly funded by the Airport Authority, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador and the Government of Canada, through Canada’s Gateways & Border Crossings Fund in support of the Atlantic Gateway & Trade Corridor Strategy.

There will also be a number of infrastructure improvements associated with the operational integrity and safety of the Airport’s facilities, including the rehabilitation of taxiways, aprons and runway.

Here’s a look at where the airport is going over the next decade:

Airport Improvement & Expansion Plan

In order to finance these investments, the Airport Authority has developed a 10-year Financial Plan that includes long-term debt facilities with policies in place to ensure the long-term financial sustainability of the Airport. In 2014 the Airport Authority secured a $60 million private placement bond and a $25 million line of credit. In order to finance the new Plan, the line of credit will be increased to $40 million. The Airport Authority’s primary source of revenue to finance its long-term debt and credit facilities is the Airport Improvement Fee (AIF) paid by each enplaning passenger. Effective July 1, 2017, the AIF will increase from $30 to $35 for each enplaning passenger at St. John’s International Airport.

As we continue to grow as a region, the Airport Authority will also continue to implement improvements in consultation with our partners and stakeholders so that the Airport, the “gateway to the province”, can facilitate economic growth and conveniently serve the community into the future.