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Old October 12th, 2007, 04:24 PM   #1
Xelebes
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Billion Dollar Expansion for YEG

Billion-dollar expansion set to take off at International
Airport expects 50% more passengers by 2012
David Finlayson, The Edmonton Journal
Published: 2:05 am

EDMONTON - Edmonton Airports will spend $1 billion expanding the international airport to handle the forecast nine million passengers a year in 2012.

Work will start next year on 13 new passenger walkways linking aircraft to the terminal, and more space for parked planes. There will also be a new concourse, more parking and retail space, and a bigger U.S. transborder holding area, CEO Reg Milley said Thursday.

"We have to catch up with the unprecedented 50-per-cent growth since 2004. The current terminal was designed for 5.5 million passengers by 2015, and we'll hit 6.1 million this year.

"In the past we had the luxury of being ahead of the curve, but now we're trying to catch up."

Just over a year ago, when Milley first said further expansion would be necessary, the tentative cost estimate was $100 million to $150 million over five years.

Even as late as last December, the authority set up $200 million in financing with Alberta Capital Finance Authority.

But Milley said Thursday that was based on 7.5 million passengers by 2012, when it's more likely to be nine million as the Alberta economy shows no signs of slowing down over the next two or three years.

The authority will be talking to ACFA about extending its credit facility to cover the new costs, he said. ACFA is a special-act corporation established in 1956 by the province to finance major capital projects.

As a shareholder, Edmonton Airports can borrow money at favourable rates.

There are no plans to increase either airport landing fees or the airport improvement fee, he said.

"A lot of airports have increased the AIF from $15 to $20, but we don't plan to do that."

A major priority is building a new arm of plane arrival and departure bridges, he said.

The current 17 bridges are full first thing every morning, and there are often second and third waves of planes waiting, he added.

The new bridge will be built away from the main terminal so disruption of current facilities is minimal. Passengers will be transported to the new gates as they are built, and the arm will be connected to the terminal when it's completed.

"We're hoping it will all be seamless for passengers with tickets," Milley said. "We can't afford to lose any gates during construction."

The current squeeze on labour and materials is "a huge concern" heading into further expansion, he said.

There will be a competitive bidding process, but it's a big enough project that the authority believes it can form long-term alliances with contractors to make sure deadlines are met, he said.

Moving fencelines to put the expansion projects outside the heavily secured airside area will mean construction workers won't have to go through daily security checks. That alone will save 25 per cent on construction costs, he said.

Milley said he's thankful the previous administration had the vision to build the previous terminal expansion, completed three years ago, despite criticism they were building a white elephant.

The phenomenal passenger growth has taken the international from a small airport to a medium-sized one in three years, and that's unprecedented in North America, he said.

dfinlayson@thejournal.canwest.com


© The Edmonton Journal 2007
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Old October 12th, 2007, 11:08 PM   #2
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Nice.
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Old October 14th, 2007, 02:47 AM   #3
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Old October 14th, 2007, 02:47 AM   #4
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I thought , Edmonton just finished work on the Airport?
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Old October 14th, 2007, 03:01 AM   #5
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Yeah, they finished it 3 years ago. They needed to expand more as the place is once again getting overcrowded (planned for 5 million pax per annum, currently looking at 6.5 million pax per annum for 2007) so a new expansion is in order. Yeah, yeah... airport sprawl....
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Old October 14th, 2007, 08:54 PM   #6
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I thought I would remind you that the third picture is in fact the Winnipeg airport expansion.
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Old October 15th, 2007, 10:46 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xelebes View Post
I thought I would remind you that the third picture is in fact the Winnipeg airport expansion.
Hmm, I was wondering about that. I knew Leduc was growing but whoa...
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Old October 18th, 2007, 12:50 AM   #8
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woops, lol fixed now .
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Old October 18th, 2007, 01:07 AM   #9
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So apparently we now have a second daily flight to San Francisco. Not big news, I know. I'm still waiting for the Frankfurt, Bonn or Warsaw connections.
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Old October 24th, 2007, 10:03 PM   #10
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Given the large influx of Eastern European immigrants into Alberta (not to mention the sizable 2nd/3rd generation ones already here) that can't be too far off.
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Old October 24th, 2007, 11:48 PM   #11
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not to mention the sizable 2nd/3rd generation ones already here
lol, yeah. Nothing beats dating Russian immigrants. 8)
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