Good morning, ladies and gentlemen, and thank you very much for coming to Saskatchewan. By the way, you're just in time for the Rolling Stones concert down yonder in Regina if you're looking for a detour on the way east.
This morning I'd like to offer you an opportunity to consider the airports network in Canada in general and in Saskatchewan in particular as an economic engine. Everybody knows of airports as places to go to get on and off airplanes, but those airports are generally, across Canada, economic engines in their community.
I have a particular factoid for you in Regina, to reconsider how that airport impacts its economy. A Boeing 737 landing and taking off creates eighteen person-months of employment in the community of Regina. That number would not be dramatically different at any airport in Canada. A different-sized aircraft might have a different number from eighteen person-months of employment, but it's a substantial economic activity, not just people getting on an airplane to travel.
In particular, to be successful in running that business of airports, there are several government roles. This morning I want to mention to you the airport rent challenge and removing that as an obstacle to us being successful in business. Secondly, the Canada Airports Act is in first-stage reading and has potential financial implications that I'd like to touch on.
From the airport rent tax perspective, to quote an ad on television, it's “hands in our pockets”. That means there is direct tax or rent money leaving our pockets. In fact, one dollar in my airport budget creates $35 worth of GDP. That's a pretty good ROI in my economy. Comparing that with the tax level, $14 of that $35 goes to three levels of government. So for each dollar you leave in our pocket, we're providing tremendous leveraging and return on that investment.
Another observation on the rent is that if the airports in turn are charged rent, we should be allowed to charge rent to government entities. For example, the customs people get free offices and free space, as do the CATSA security folks, and I'm not allowed to charge the Prime Minister a landing fee on his aircraft. Although the Prime Minister in turn pays for everything else, including his gas, his hotel, and his rental cars, etc., he gets free landing fees by direction of the Government of Canada.
Looking at the Canada Airports Act, the accountability provisions are very clear and very welcome. The challenge of commercial viability must be met by allowing the airports and encouraging the airports to operate subsidiary businesses, because we use those businesses to cross-subsidize and be competitive in the air fees that we charge for landing, etc. We require partnerships to do that, both amongst airports and amongst community businesses, and we require creative investment solutions in order to be as commercially viable as we possibly can.
So the bottom line is that it's all about the economy. The airports are key pieces of the economic engine, the economic infrastructure in our communities, and the Government of Canada roles are substantial in the areas of rent and the Canada Airports Act.
Thank you very much.