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January 24, 2019 | Air Service, Airport City, Cargo, Community, ESG, YEG News Releases

Commercial development at EIA also continues to be strong

(Edmonton, AB) - Edmonton International Airport (EIA) served more travellers than ever before in 2018, with over 8,2 million people flying in or out of the airport. EIA boosted the local economy with more travellers, more flights, more commercial development, more retail, more roads and more investment.

"EIA had a record-setting year serving more travellers than ever before, with particularly strong growth in our non-stop domestic and US destinations," said Tom Ruth, EIA President and CEO. "EIA also continues our cargo and commercial development to boost and diversify long-term growth for our regional and national economy."

Passenger Service

There were multiple new air services offerings to and from EIA in 2018.

  • Air Canada commenced daily non-stop service between Edmonton and San Francisco and Air Canada Rouge began non-stop service to Las Vegas.
  • WestJet’s winter schedule includes flights from Edmonton to Huatulco, Mazatlán, Puerto Vallarta and Cancun.
  • Flair Airlines announced new Canadian routes as well as a major expansion including Las Vegas, Phoenix-Mesa, Orlando, Miami and Palm Springs. Flair announced EIA as the airline’s headquarters and main connecting hub.
  • Swoop began new daily service to Las Vegas and twice-weekly service to Phoenix-Mesa and domestic service to Abbotsford, Winnipeg and Hamilton.

Overall passenger counts grew by 5,8 per cent over 2017's numbers. The region continued to support the non-stop services of Icelandair to Reykjavik, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines to Amsterdam and the seasonal WestJet service to London-Gatwick. Domestic travel increased by 6,3 per cent over the previous year. Significantly, the number of EIA sun destination travellers increased by 9,6 % per cent and US travel experienced a 9,9 per cent increase in 2018.

To serve this growing number of travellers, EIA expanded its domestic/international security screening area, and began the installation of new CATSA Plus screening systems. The first CATSA Plus line is now operational and these systems will replace all the old CATSA screening systems on EIA’s domestic/international side in 2019.

Commercial Development

Commercial development at EIA supports air service by attracting new passengers and services, and by providing revenue that is reinvested into the airport. In addition to that, new development at EIA will lead to the creation of nearly 2 000 jobs in 2018, directly impacting our local economy. With more than 750 $ million of private investment in EIA since 2014, the trend of strong development continued in 2018.

EIA upgraded Airport Perimeter Road and Outlet Collection Way including additional lanes additional signal lights and lanes to the site of the Premium Outlet Collection and Costco at EIA, both of which opened in 2018.

Chinese firm EHL International Logistics Co. and Edmonton International Airport (EIA) signed an agreement making the airport EHL’s new North American logistics consolidation centre for goods, including e-commerce, moving between China and North America. The deal will generate many new jobs for the Edmonton Metro Region and significantly increase real-time access to global markets for small- and medium-size businesses across the region, Alberta and Canada.

Canadian North began operating a Manufacture, Maintenance, Repair and Operations (MMRO) facility in their hangar at EIA. The new facility created new jobs, attract new business to Alberta and fuelled momentum in Edmonton’s growing aerospace sector.

Aurora Cannabis has opened an 800,000-square-foot facility at EIA, which is the world’s largest and most advanced medical cannabis production facility.

Horseracing Alberta announced Century Casinos Inc. is well into construction of a new mile-long race track on-site, including food and entertainment facilities with slot machines. The site will be opening in April 2019.

Red Cup Distillery opened their new facility at EIA and have commenced operations, including retail sales and export operations.

K5 Investment Group began construction of a new, five-story, 135-room Fairfield Inn by Marriott hotel at EIA, which will open in June 2019.

Dogtopia has entered into an agreement with EIA to open a new dog daycare, boarding and spa facility. We expect this to open in late 2019.

Travellers in the EIA Domestic/International passenger lounge can now enjoy the Delux Burger Bar and its quick, casual dining option, DLX2GO which allows customers to order from either the secured airside Departures Lounge or on the ground side on the departures level.


On the ground, two new, two-million litre Shell Aviation fuel tanks are under construction at EIA specifically to support increasing air cargo activity.

Air Canada began construction of a new, 50 000 sq. ft. cargo and ground support equipment facility at EIA.

EIA became the first airport in Canada to pursue CEIV Pharma Certification for cold-storage products. As part of EIA’s contribution to the CEIV pharma program, EIA will be opening a “Fresh Cargo Centre” cooler facility that will be used jointly by CEIV certified cargo carriers. With 5 000 sq. ft. of refrigerated warehouse space and direct airside access, the facility will be ideally suited for the handling of perishable cargo such as pharma, meat, fruit and produce.

Construction has been completed on Runway Developments' new, 25,000-square-foot Logistics Centre. The facility is for mixed-use cargo, with leasing opportunities available for customs brokers, logistics companies and freight forwarders. Current tenants include Flying Fresh Air Freight, Farrow and Livingston International.

In the air, mainstay carriers, Air Canada, AF/KLM, Canadian North, Cargojet, DHL, FedEx, Icelandair executed strong performance and their cargo services were supplemented by Nippon Cargo Airlines, Korean Air Cargo and Atlas Air operating multiple transpacific and transatlantic charter services, continuing the expanding role of EIA as an international cargo centre. DHL and Cargojet also increased their warehouse operations at EIA.

All EIA cargo facilities operate within airport Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ), reducing trade barriers and enhancing access to key Canadian Markets. EIA is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week – with no curfews, operational restrictions or slot restrictions.

Technology and Innovation

EIA is investing in a dedicated Digital Unit to collaborate with airlines and local technology and innovation partners to create the next generation of convenience, efficiency, relaxation and security for travellers. Some of this technology is already at work at EIA. Paperless travel is now possible as airlines offer digital boarding passes which are recognized by the Canadian Air Transportation Security Agency (CATSA), United States Customs and Border Protection (USCBP) have Automated Passport Control kiosks, and Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has Primary Inspection Kiosks (PIK). The new PIK process is streamlining border security process and reducing wait times by allowing passengers to complete their declaration forms from a paperless kiosk or from the convenience of a mobile app.

Alberta Aerospace and Technology Centre partners at EIA initiated several new ventures:

Air Canada operated a biofuel flight from EIA to San Francisco, which carried an Alberta trade mission to meet with leaders from Silicon Valley, industry and tourism in California.

EIA is also partnering with Alberta Innovates for the Edmonton International Airport Renewable Electricity Production Challenge.

Community, Art and Culture

EIA supports close to 100 causes, events and organizations in the Edmonton Metro Region and surrounding areas. A few highlights from 2018 include sponsoring events such as the children's tent at Servus Heritage Festival, the Edmonton International Street Performers Festival, ITU, Ronald McDonald House, Compassion House, the Make-A-Wish Foundation Calendar of Wishes and the 2018 Grey Cup Festival. For the second time, EIA hosted a National Indigenous Peoples' Day cultural showcase, featuring dance, music and art. EIA's live music program continues to be a crowd pleaser as well as the permanent and rotational art program.

This year Elevate Aviation announced the creation of a Learning Centre at EIA, which will be an immersive learning experience designed to promote women and underrepresented groups pursuing careers in aviation.

In lieu of hosting its annual EIA Charity Golf Classic, EIA continued to support  Youth Empowerment and Support Service, Riseup Society Alberta and the Leduc and District Food Bank through a financial contribution, which was matched by EIA’s many generous industry partners. In total 23 246,54 $ was raised by Tenants or customer’s direct payments to respective charities. EIA will match this payment amount along with the 100 $K base which makes the total payable by EIA 123 246,54 $.

EIA received several awards in 2018. At the 2018 Airports Council International - North America award for Excellence in Marketing, Communications and Customer Service, EIA received Honourable Mentions for Best Annual Report (2017), Community Education and Outreach (welcoming international students), and for Newsletters (E-blast). EIA was also recognized as one of Alberta's Top 70 employers.

Great Regional Co-operation through the Airport Accord and Edmonton Global

There were great strides in regional cooperation through the airport accord for the benefit of our travellers and citizens of the region. These included regional emergency response services and a regional transit system, better connecting our communities to the airport.

EIA, Edmonton Economic Development Corporation and Edmonton Global also co-hosted the Smart Airports and Regions Conference and Exhibition at the Shaw Conference Centre in July. Five hundred delegates from 50 countries came to hear about innovative technology and communities and to tour EIA and Edmonton.


Rideshare provider Uber also entered into an agreement with EIA to serve travellers at the airport.

Villeneuve Airport (ZVL)

Villeneuve Airport, a significant general aviation airport with more than 60 000 aircraft movements annually, continued to grow in 2018, helping to drive the local economy. Four new lots (four acres total) on the south of the airport became ready for development, with two of them already leased out and two pending.

The rapid growth at Villeneuve Airport made it necessary to realign the airport's internal road network. An intersection formerly used by ground vehicles and taxiing aircraft was closed to ground vehicles and a temporary road provides access to the west side of the airport from highway 633. A new road will be built to reconnect the west and east sides of the airport with construction completed by late September, 2019.

Edmonton Airports partnered with EPCOR to provide maintenance operations on the Villeneuve Airport water system. A recirculation and chlorination system is now operational. EPCOR is now monitoring and providing oversight on overall operations. Villeneuve Airport's water system is certified as a potable water site under the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act.

The Edmonton Airshow, was an amazing spectacle at Villeneuve Airport in August, despite severe smoke from B.C. forest fires. Villeneuve Airport will host the event again on August 16 (for practice and VIP), 17 and 18 (public admission), 2018. The 2019 show will be highlighted by the Royal Canadian Air Force Snowbirds, the USAF A-10 demo and heritage flight, the CF-188 (CF-18) demo, and many more surprises on the ground.