05/31/2012 07:34 EDT | Updated 07/31/2012 05:12 EDT

New Brunswick airports losing out to American competitors: airport association

FREDERICTON - The Atlantic Canada Airports Association says airports in New Brunswick are losing almost half of their business to U.S. airports close to the border.

Association president Keith Collins says the problem in New Brunswick is part of a national trend.

He says almost five million Canadian passengers departed from U.S. border airports in 2011.

Collins says that represents an economic loss of $1.3 billion.

In New Brunswick, ticket costs are notably higher than in the U.S. because of the Air Travellers Security Charge, the HST and the hidden cost of airport rent and other federal fees.

The association, which represents the CEOs who oversee Atlantic Canada's airports, is meeting today in Fredericton.