Friday, July 13, 2007
Edmonton — Edmonton City Centre Airport will continue to contribute to the provision of quality air service for the Capital Region and the North, Edmonton Airports announced today. The less than 3% of remaining scheduled passenger service will move from Edmonton City Centre Airport to Edmonton International Airport by January 1, 2005, as the final step in honouring and fully implementing the decision made by citizens in a 1995 plebiscite.
"Following considerable debate in the 1990s, 77% of Edmontonians decided that the air service needs of the Capital Region would be best served if all scheduled passenger service was located at Edmonton International Airport," explained Glenn Rainbird, Chair, Edmonton Airports Board of Directors.
"The International Airport, however, did not have the necessary infrastructure in 1995 so a phased approach was taken," added Rainbird. "Recent expansion and redevelopment of the International Airport now provides the necessary facilities to accommodate all remaining scheduled passenger service in and out of the Capital Region."
"Quality air service is critical to the business and tourism economies of Edmonton, the Capital Region and the North," stated Scott Clements, President and CEO, Edmonton Airports. "Taking the final step in clarifying the intended role of Edmonton City Centre Airport as determined by the 1995 plebiscite, provides the certainty the aviation industry and related businesses have been seeking. Air service decisions can now be made knowing with certainty the complementary roles to be played by each of the four airports serving this region."
"Consolidation of most passenger service at the International Airport in 1996 has resulted in better air service for Edmonton and the North," commented Clements. "Edmonton has seen significant growth in the number of passengers and nonstop flights serving Edmonton. Northern travellers have seen significantly increased access to air service with more flights, greater seat capacity and lower air fares."
Since consolidation of 97% of scheduled air service at Edmonton International Airport, overall passenger traffic in the Capital Region has increased by 36% to nearly four million passengers a year, a growth rate higher than any other western Canadian city. Edmonton now serves 24 new non-stop destinations bringing the total to 40 non-stop cities since consolidation. Seat capacity to the North has increased by 31% since consolidation, the number of flights per week has risen 49% and passenger traffic between Edmonton and the North has increased by 139%.
Consistent with Edmonton Airports lease, Edmonton City Centre Airport will continue to serve the Capital Region and the North by accommodating air ambulances (medevacs), small charters, government aviation, private and corporate aviation, military, flight training, helicopter services, and related support businesses. Edmonton City Centre airport facilities will be developed and maintained to reflect the role and capacity requirements of the airport. This will include rationalization of surplus airside pavement costs, including the objective of closing runway 12/30.
A new fee structure will be introduced to reflect the cost of operating and maintaining the airport, with continued efforts to attract aviation and compatible non-aviation businesses to City Centre Airport. All revenue generated at Edmonton City Centre Airport will continue to be invested in that airport.
Clements added, "We will work with the five scheduled passenger carriers serving City Centre Airport in an effort to accommodate their needs and priorities at Edmonton International Airport."
Some of the initiatives underway to meet the needs of regional travellers at Edmonton International Airport are:
o A downtown Edmonton check-in terminal and cost-effective ground transportation between downtown and Edmonton International Airport;
o A commuter concourse at Edmonton International Airport to meet the specific needs of regional travellers;
o Dedicated facilities at Edmonton International Airport to support small regional carriers.
"Experience has proven that the decision made in 1995 is still the best decision for overall air service for the Capital Region and the North," Rainbird concluded. "The actions being taken by Edmonton Airports will fully implement that decision, and provide for the long-term sustainability of Edmonton City Centre Airport within the system of Capital Region airports."
Edmonton Airports is a not-for-profit organization mandated to manage the region's airport assets on behalf of and in the best interest of the Capital Region.
Other related information:
• Backgrounder (pdf 128KB)
• News Release: 2003-11-18 Northern Air Service Improved with Consolidation
• Air Service Northern Report (pdf 2601KB)
*for printed copies of the Air Service Northern Report, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org