Our April/May issue looks at COVID-19 and Canadian operators. We also visit Summit Air, Fox Flight Air Ambulance and Planes & Parts. Plus: Boeing Block III Super Hornet and Diamond DA40 NG flight test!
New destinations, new restaurants and a focus on embracing a digital future will define 2020 and beyond for Edmonton International Airport (EIA).
Final numbers for 2019 show EIA served 8.15 million passengers and continued to see strong investments in Airport City with the opening of Century Mile Racetrack and Casino, the new Fairfield by Marriott EIA, the Aurora Polaris expansion and the completion of the Shell Aviation fuel tank farm. EIA also finished work and, in partnership with CATSA, opened its new Central Security Hall, to create a better passenger experience by increasing space 280 per cent.
It was a challenging year for the entire aviation industry with the grounding of the Boeing 737 Max airplanes, which reduced service across the sector. Despite this, several new EIA non-stop passenger flights began, were announced or confirmed, including:
· KLM continues to serve EIA on a year-round basis up to four times a week;
· Icelandair is resuming service at EIA from May 15 to September 19 flying four times a week (Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday);
· Air Canada’s San Francisco service continues to be a popular route into California as well as their strong regional service throughout Canada;
· St. John’s, N.L. with WestJet, Seasonal summer service;
· London, Ont. and Orlando, Florida with Swoop, seasonal;
· Kamloops in April 2020 and San Diego in May 2020 with Swoop; as well, Swoop added non-stop flights to Mexico for winter 2019/2020 operating to Cancun, Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas;
· In addition to low cost carrier Swoop, Flair Airlines continues to offer strong Canadian service and we look forward to continued growth in 2020; and
· Frankfurt, Germany with Condor Airlines starting June 2020 Mondays and Thursdays.
As a new decade begins, EIA’s forward vision is dubbed Innovation Expansion, and this year will see work begin to make the terminal more efficient and embrace a variety of digital technologies that will improve services for passengers. Innovation Expansion at EIA is a long-term strategy designed to maximize existing space to accommodate more passengers to meet the goal of serving 10 million passengers as well as generating $3.88 billion in annual economic output by 2025.
“Our mission is to drive prosperity in the Edmonton Metropolitan Region through flights, cargo and business development. We believe in the innovation and economic diversification of the communities we serve, so we have set ambitious goals to support them,” said Tom Ruth, president and CEO, EIA.
On the business side, EIA maintained its cargo volumes, even posting a modest increase of 0.3 per cent to 43,000 tons moving through EIA in 2019, despite a worldwide air cargo decrease of approximately five per cent.
Cargo highlights included:
· Two new, two-million litre Shell Aviation fuel tanks completed construction at EIA specifically to support increasing air cargo activity;
· Air Canada completed a new, 50,000 sq. ft. ground support equipment and cargo facility; and
· EIA opened a “Fresh Cargo Centre” 5,000 square foot cooler facility that will be used jointly by cargo carriers for perishable goods.
Other highlights for 2019 include:
· EIA and Drone Delivery Canada (DDC) entered into an agreement which will make EIA a hub for drone cargo deliveries in western and northern Canada;
· EIA welcomed the opening of the new Century Mile Racetrack and Casino including food and entertainment facilities with slot machines;
· K5 Investment Group opened their new, five-story, 135-room Fairfield by Marriott EIA;
· New retail services including Sleep Country, Booster Juice, Fat Burger, Starbucks, colorworks and Wendys;
· Edge4Vets program to connect former and currently serving military members with employers in the civilian aviation industry; and
· Elevate Aviation completed the first year of its Learning Centre at EIA, which is an immersive learning program focused on showcasing aviation careers to women and underrepresented groups. The first-of-its-kind program welcomed 400 participants in 2019, 50 per cent of whom, were female.
Visit www.flyeia.com to see additional background highlights and further passenger numbers for 2019 as well as information about improvements at Villeneuve Airport.