Edmonton International Airport has a long and interesting history of foundation. In 2022 it is considered one of the main airports in the province of Alberta. There are regular flights to major cities such as: Canada, USA, Mexico, Europe. For more information see the website edmonton-future.
The history of foundation
It was chosen as a place of 7000 acres (28 km) near the military airport for the construction . The opening took place on the 15th of November 1960.
In 1963, the passenger terminal was opened in an international style. The company Alberta Natural Gas made a great effort, they made the exterior of the departure area. There was a large mural called “Bush Pilot in the Northern Sky”, which cost 75 thousand dollars.
During 1970, there was a rapid increase in the use of airport services by people. In 1980, 2 million passengers were served here. In 1995, the number of flights decreased due to the economic crisis in Edmonton. Then there were only local short-haul flights.
The reconstruction project had already begun in 1998. It lasted until 2005. Totally 282 million dollars were spent. The project included the construction of the terminal and the improvement of the main waiting hall, in addition, a park area had to be built. Thus, this project increased the passenger capacity to 5 million people.
Now there are 7 new boarding gates, 14 tele-stairs, moving walkways and improved baggage screening systems. The Renaissance Edmonton Airport Hotel was built on the territory of the airport, which became a good addition to the landscape.
Airport and fire
In 2016 there was a large forest fire in Fort McMurray. The airport acted as the main hub for firefighting from the air, as well as medical evacuation by air.
Thousands of evacuated people from the city were accommodated within the walls of the facility. The emergency headquarters of the airport worked for 112 hours, organizing the arrival of hundreds of planes.
In the spring of this year, more than 300 additional flights were operated here. In the summer of 2016, the Government of Alberta allocated $90 million to create a duplicate highway.
Comfort for passengers
Edmonton International Airport provides pre-clearance services at the US border. Passengers connecting in Edmonton to a U.S. destination use Quick Connect, which allows them to pass through security without any hindrance. There are two lounges at the airport: Air Canada Maple Leaf and Plaza Premium.
Destinations of flights
Edmonton International Airport operates regular non-stop flights to 55 destinations. In winter, 51 flights are operated weekly. WestJet airline provides its services here, flying to 30 popular destinations.
Air ambulance service
There is a dedicated facility at the airport that is used by Alberta Health Services. Nor-Alta Aviation provides air ambulance services at Edmonton Airport under contract to Alberta Health Services.
Accidents on the territory of the airport
In January 1973, a Pacific Western Airlines plane on a cargo flight from Toronto crashed. There were 5 crew members and 80 cattle on board. Due to strong winds and snow, the plane flew into a turbulence zone, then crashed into trees, power lines, there was a fall and a fire. All crew members died together with the cattle, the plane was damaged and could not be repaired. Investigations were conducted, but the cause of the crash was not found.
In November 2014, a Bombardier DHC-8-402 aircraft was flying from Calgary to Grande Prairie with 71 passengers on board when a landing gear tire ruptured during takeoff. A loud knocking sound was heard inside the aircraft. During landing, the first and main landing gear strut collapsed, as a result the propellers of the aircraft hit the ground and broke. One of the blades flew through the wall of the cabin and injured three people. The headwind prevented the plane from landing in Calgary, so it was directed to Edmonton International Airport, where it made a successful landing.