Thursday, November 17, 2016

Decline in Airport Ferry revenues anticipated for 2016

 With fewer flights scheduled out of the Prince Rupert airport,  it is expected
that there will be a decline in revenues for the city's Airport Ferry for this year 

The monthly Variance Reports are probably one of those city generated documents that few residents bother to review. The regular report on expenditures, revenues and such, makes for a snap shot for the Mayor and Council, as to how the city's finances are moving along and a point of comparison with the projections made at budget time.

The September report was delivered at Monday's Council session and while Corinne Bomben, the City's Financial Officer offered up a verbal presentation related to some of the financial items for the month, she skipped over one part of the report, a segment which reviewed the financial statistics from the city's main transportation link between the city and Digby Island.

The short overview of the September financials report can be viewed from the City's Video Archive starting at the 25 minute mark.

As for the more expansive review on the airport ferry for Council members, it can found on page 39 of the Agenda package for the November 14th meeting, providing a look at how the financial returns look when it comes to that transportation service.

According to the report, as the year comes to an end, the city is expecting to experience a continuation of a revenue shortfall when it comes to the Digby Island Airport Ferry.

From the Report the City's CFO notes:

"Airport Ferry Revenue is still down approximately 6 per cent compared to last year, due to the departure of Hawkair. 

The additional flight and higher loads from Air Canada Express have partially offset the impact of Hawkair's departure, however this additional flight was removed in October. 

It is expected revenue will end up nearly 10% less than projected in the budget."

From the charts provided for council's review, the revenue expectations for the Ferry in 2016 were listed at $1,660,000 while the actual Year to date revenue listed in the report is set at 1,135,656.

On the expenditures side of the financial sheets related to the Airport Ferry, the listings show a Year To Date amount of 1,745,813, while the Budget projections for 2016 were noted at 2,668,000.

The observations found in the Agenda notes on those airport ferry numbers, did not generate any discussion during the course of Monday's public session. With none of the council members in attendance directing questions to the CFO, or offering comments related to the anticipated revenue shortage and what impact it may have on the city's budget.

Nor did those notes on the airport ferry and the review of the lower air movement numbers at the airport, spur on any further follow up by Council members when it comes other areas of airport concern.

Notable towards that theme, the topic of revenues generated for the airport through the collection of landing fees and what impact the lower number of flights and passenger loads may have when it comes to the operations at the airport itself.

That is an area that residents of the community might have some interest in and a subject that Council may wish to have the Airport manager review at some future public council session.

More items related to Monday's Council session can be found on our Council timeline feature.

Further background on air transportation in the Northwest can be found on our archive page here.

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