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NEWS Last modified on February 1, 2018

Edmonton International Airport continues to drive economic growth in Alberta

Edmonton International Airport's importance to the province of Alberta continues to grow with the Candian gateway handling 7.8 million passengers in 2017 as it moved forward with a host of cargo, commercial and infrastructure development projects.

“EIA is focused on stimulating long-term growth for the Edmonton Metro Region," enthuses the airport's president and CEO, Tom Ruth.

"We attracted hundreds of millions of dollars in private investment last year in many different lines of business, demonstrating strong confidence in EIA and our regional economy.

“Our passenger numbers have grown, particularly in domestic and transatlantic-international flights, as travellers continued to support our non-stop flights enabling us to drive regional business growth.”  

Traffic trends

EIA celebrated multiple new air services offerings in 2017, including the launch of a new non-stop weekly WestJet service between Edmonton and Huatulco, Mexico, as well as more flights from Edmonton to Abbotsford, Kelowna, Victoria and Cancun.

In June, Central Mountain Air started non-stop service between Edmonton and Prince George, BC, six days a week. Flair Airlines celebrated their one year anniversary at EIA and announced a major expansion of services, including using EIA as the airline’s main connecting hub.
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Overall passenger tnumbers increased by 3.8% on 2016, with domestic traffic soaring by 7% and international throughput remaining steady.

It notes that the region continues to support the non-stop services of Icelandair to Reykjavik, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines to Amsterdam and the seasonal WestJet service to London-Gatwick.

Significantly, the number of inbound international travellers using these flights to travel to Edmonton increased over 20%. However, US travel experienced a net 4% cent decrease in 2017.

Commercial development

The airport points out that new developments at EIA, C$750 million of which is being funded by private investment, will lead to the creation of more than 2,000 jobs.

Costco has confirmed that it will open a new warehouse at EIA in late 2018.

Canadian North announced that it will open a Manufacture, Maintenance, Repair and Operations (MMRO) facility in their hangar at EIA. The complex will create new jobs, attract new business to Alberta and fuel momentum in Edmonton’s growing aerospace sector.

Aurora Cannabis continued construction of an 800,000-square-foot facility at EIA, which will be the world's largest and most medical cannabis production facility.

Horseracing Alberta announced that Century Casinos Inc has been selected to develop a new mile long race track onsite, including food and entertainment facilities with slot machines.

Red Cup Distilery has taken possession of their new facility at EIA and are expected to be operational in March 2018.

K5 Investment Group began construction of a new, five-story, 135 room Fairfield Inn by Marriott hotel at EIA, which will open in early 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 the fall of 2018.


On the ground, multiple new warehousing facilities provide over 250,000 square feet of additional capacity.

Aeroterm opened its new C$10 million logistics distribution centre at EIA, including 50,000 square feet of airside flight kitchen and air cargo support facilities.

Tenants in this new facility include Gate Gourmet, ATS and Swissport.

Construction is underway on the new, 25,000-square-foot Logistics Centre building by Runway Developments. The facility is for mixed-use cargo, with leasing opportunities available for customs brokers, logistics companies and freight forwarders.

The building will be ready for occupancy in Q1, 2018 and opens with committed tenants, Flying Fresh Air Freight, Farrow and Livingston International.
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In the air, mainstay carriers, Air Canada, AF/KLM, Canadian North, Cargojet, DHL, FedEx, Icelandair executed strong performance and their services offerings were supplemented by Nippon Cargo Airlines, Korean Air Cargo and Atlas Air operating multiple trans pacific and transatlantic charter services continuing the expanding role of EIA as an international cargo centre.

All EIA cargo facilities operate within the Port Alberta Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ), reducing trade barriers and enhancing access to key Canadian Markets. 

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 recognised 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.


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Joe Bates

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