Cablegate: Aeroports de Montreal Annual Report 2003

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

131251Z May 04






E.O. 12958: N/A

REF: A) 2003 Montreal 1076 (NOTAL)

B) 2002 Montreal 0412 (NOTAL)

1. (U) Summary. Aeroports de Montreal (ADM) Corporation
President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) James Cherry and
Chairman of the Board Pierre Martin rolled out the ADM 2003
annual report at a May 6, 2004 public meeting held at the
International Civil Aviation Organization Headquarters in
Montreal. The meeting highlighted the ADM Corporation's
strategic growth plan that focuses on three core sectors:
passenger traffic, air cargo and industrial development.
Montreal-Trudeau Airport will serve as the hub for domestic,
transborder and international passenger traffic, while
Montreal-Mirabel Airport will be revamped into an industrial
and all-cargo airport. CEO Cherry emphasized that passenger
volume (8.9 million) and cargo volume (242,193 tons) had
increased by 1.5% and 3.9%, respectively, from the 2002
numbers. Cherry stated that ADM optimistically anticipates
a fifteen percent (15%) increase in passenger volume in
2004, mostly as a result of increased numbers of flights
from low-cost carriers. He also reported several
international charter carriers plan to offer new, direct,
weekly flights between Montreal and a few European capitals;
domestically, additional flights between Montreal and Quebec
City are on the horizon. A preliminary proposal to improve
passenger accessibility to Montreal-Trudeau is anticipated
for completion in June 2004. End summary.

2. (U) ADM is the corporation responsible for the
management, Operation and development of Montreal-Trudeau
Airport (MMA) (formerly known as Dorval International
Airport) and Montreal-Mirabel Airport (MMA). In 1992, ADM
entered a 60-year lease with Transport Canada to manage both

3. (U) Board Chairman Martin opened the public meeting by
announcing that passenger and cargo volume increased and
that the Phase I project to expand MTA was completed on
schedule and within budget. He reported the Phase II
project, expansion of the international jetty, is thirty-
seven percent (37%) complete.

4. (U) ADM's three-point growth plan focuses on passenger
traffic, air cargo and industrial development. In January
2004, ADM signed an agreement with charter carrier Air
Transat, ADM's second largest carrier (after Air Canada), to
relocate its head office, its aircraft maintenance center
and aircraft to MTA. ADM expects all charter flights from
Montreal to be operating out of Montreal-Trudeau by late
2004. A new international and transborder arrivals complex
which will contain a new Canadian Customs hall and baggage
claim area is scheduled to open in November 2004, followed
by the inauguration of a new international jetty in July
2005. ADM plans to launch an international request for
proposals to redevelop MMA, to make use its terminal, hotel
and administrative buildings.

5. (U) In addition to highlighting that 8.9 million
passengers (1.5% increase) and 242,193 tons of cargo (3.9%
increase) transited the ADM facilities in 2003, on the
environmental side, CEO Cherry emphasized that the noise
footprint at the Montreal facilities is now fifty percent
(50%) below the 1995 reference area. He stated the number
of citizens affected by the noise footprint fell to seventy
percent (70%) below the 1995 reference level. ADM
management expects the commissioning of a new thermal power
plant at MTA to cut the airport's energy consumption by
fifty percent (50%).

6. (U) CEO Cherry anticipates as much as a fifteen percent
(15%) increase in passenger traffic stemming from
international charters that will offer flights to new,
weekly destinations between Montreal and a few European
capitals. He specifically mentioned the following
international charters: Thomas Cook (to/from London), Zoom
Airlines (to/from London and Paris), Air Plus Comet (to/from
Madrid) and Transaero (to/from Moscow). Domestically, ADM
expects an increase in flights offered by Air Labrador
between Montreal and Quebec City.

7. (U) ADM management underscored that its primary
concern relates to municipal taxes, to the tune of 21.3 million
Canadian dollars (CAD) in 2003 (the MTA portion - 18 million
CAD). CEO Cherry stated that Montreal pays the highest per
passenger tax compared to all the other Canada airports,
approximately 2.21 CAD per passenger. ADM management
reported that it signed an agreement with the City of
Montreal that will limit some tax growth for the next three
years, but added the corporation seeks "a permanent,
equitable basis" for determining its tax contributions.
ADM's second priority concern is the amount of rent paid to
Transport Canada (4.8 million CAD in 2003). The third
priority issue is passenger accessibility to MTA. A
preliminary proposal to improve road access and city and
intercity rail connections to the MTA is planned for
completion in June 2004. A related impact study is
scheduled for completion by August 2004. ADM expects a
final proposal will be ready in November 2006, to integrate
a rail connection to MTA -- the anticipated construction
completion date is in the 2007-2008 period.

8. (SBU) On May 11, 2004, as a followup to ADM's public
meeting, post's Principal Officer contacted CEO Cherry to
inquire whether the Phase II plans will address the long-
standing concern of Department of Homeland Security
personnel at the Pre-Flight Inspection Facility; that is,
lack of screening of passengers and baggage prior to the DHS
inspectors' interviewing and pre-clearance of passengers.
Cherry responded that Phase II plans do not address the DHS
employees' concern, but he hinted that the Phase III
proposals (June 2004) may accelerate renovations that would
respond to the DHS employees' concern.

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