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Trail airport to hold line on passenger fees until 2025

Trail will stick with the same passenger fees at its regional airport for the next two years.

City council unanimously agreed this week to renew an agreement with Pacific Coastal Airlines that sees inbound and outbound passengers charged $16 each.

According to a staff report, when the city took sole ownership of the airport in 2014, the passenger fee was set $12. When the contract expired in 2017, it went up to $13 to reflect increased costs of operations and capital investment, and in 2019 it was increased to $14.

In 2022, the fee went up to $16 as part of a one-year agreement to keep pace with labour, utilities, and the costs of goods and services to keep the airport running. That agreement expired on July 31.

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Last year, another four weekly flights began in late June and the total passenger count was 15,588, generating $232,536. The passenger count is on track this year to hit 19,000, which will generate about $304,000.

The airport’s operating budget this year is $636,800, so user fee revenue would cover slightly less than half of that.

Airport manager Enrico Moehrle noted in his report that some airports in BC charge close to $25 in passenger fees, so keeping Trail’s rate at $16 is within the industry norm.

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