One of the roles of the Ministry's Tourism Division is to advocate for air policy that support the growth of tourism in Alberta. The Ministry has been involved in a number of initiatives to advance the province's interests in this regard.
Alberta Open Skies Forum
The Alberta Open Skies Forum was held May 14th, 2009 in Edmonton and provided delegates with an opportunity to provide input and assist with the identification of key target markets and international air service agreement priorities for the Province of Alberta. This was a collaborative initiative between Alberta Tourism, Parks and Recreation and Alberta Transportation.
A final report was prepared and this includes information from the original discussion paper that was prepared
and distributed to delegates in advance of the Forum. As well, the final report outlines recommendations flowing
from the workshop component of the event where stakeholders were provided with the opportunity to confirm
priorities, from an Alberta perspective, where the Federal government needs to be encouraged to negotiate open
skies type air service agreements. Recommendations also address how the Federal government could more effectively
represent provincial perspectives in the air service agreement negotiating process.
Alberta Open Skies Forum - Final Report
Western Provinces Support Need For Open Skies Air Service Agreements
On September 25th 2009, Alberta's Premier, the Honourable Ed Stelmach was a key note speaker at the BC
International Open Skies Summit in Vancouver. Premier Stelmach referred to Alberta's Open Skies priority markets
and current impediments based on information provided in the Alberta Open Skies Forum report. Premier Stelmach
along with BC Premier Gordon Campbell and Saskatchewan Minister of Enterprise Ken Ceveldayoff signed an
unprecedented declaration affirming western support for Open Skies.
Canadian Council of Tourism Ministers
The Minister of Tourism, Parks and Recreation serves as Chair of the Air Access Working Group of the Council of Canadian Tourism Ministers.
During 2008, the Department commissioned a study on air access issues on behalf of provincial and territorial tourism Ministers. Jurisdictions across Canada, agreed that of the issues identified, the need for more Open Skies Air Service Agreements and consideration of provincial/territorial interests with regard to the negotiation of bilateral air service agreements were immediate short term priorities.
On September 10, 2009, the Minister of Tourism, Parks and Recreation led air access
discussions at the meeting of Canada's Tourism Ministers held in Toronto. Federal Transport Minister, the
Honourable John Baird also participated in discussions at the meeting related to air access which included
dialogue on how to move forward on Canada's Open Skies priority markets.