Blogs & Comment

Chart: Buffalo's airport costs Canadian economy $1 billion yearly

Buffalo's airport sees 2 million Canadian passengers every year, and it's costing us.

The Buffalo Niagara International Airport claims it has about 2 million Canadian passengers each year. Lower costs are the biggest factor. The prices of flights leaving to Orlando on Nov. 23 and returning on Nov. 30 in 2012 were $406.90 each from Pearson International in Toronto with Air Canada and $231 each from Buffalo with Southwest. That is a savings of over $700 for a family of four. In addition, going through customs at an international bridge is almost always more pleasant than the line ups at the Pearson plus you can take advantage off cross border shopping without having to lug everything back on a plane.

The graph below shows that this traffic at Buffalo alone has a conservative cost of about $1 billion to the Canadian economy. Airlines lose $586 million, governments are down about $150 million in taxes and fees and lost revenue from hotels, parking, taxis, limos and airport purchases are conservatively about $90 million. Add to that $150 million or $75 per passenger in additional cross border shopping and total lost revenue approaches $30 for every man, women and child in the country.