Nenshi fears federal 'fire sale' of Canada's airports

Originally published: March 9, 2017

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi isn't keen on the possibility of the federal government selling off the Calgary International Airport (YYC) to a private owner.

There are reports the Trudeau government is looking at selling Canada's eight largest airports. According to the C.D. Howe Institute, the sale could net the government between $7.2 and $16.6 billion.

One possible destination for the proceeds could be infrastructure projects.

Airports like YYC are run by non-profit airport authorities, which oppose selling the facilities to private ownership.

Naheed Nenshi said the non-profit operators pay millions in rent to Ottawa. He fears that with private owners, one of two things will happen with those rents

"The only way a sale makes sense is if the buyer either pays way more than the value of those rents, which means the rent has to go up for them to make any money, or they keep the rents the same — which just means they pay less than the value of the rent and you've got a fire sale," said Nenshi.

Read the rest at the CBC Calgary.