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A newer airport takes flight
$2-billion expansion will secure Calgary's position as a key global hub
29 January 2011
Calgary Herald



John Rogers spends a lot of time in airports, on the road more than in the city as he shuttles around the globe promoting a growing oilsands company.

With all that frequent flying, he's noticed wait times at the terminal and on the runway getting longer, signs of a straining facility beginning to burst at the seams.

And as the Calgary International Airport starts on its biggest expansion to date -- one of the largest projects in the city's history -- Rogers doesn't think it can come soon enough.

"There's no doubt about it, the terminal has become busier over the years," says Rogers, vice-president of investor relations with MEG Energy. "Almost to the point it seems a little bit overcrowded the way it is.

"It seems at times they're having trouble keeping up with that. They have to get that infrastructure fixed so they can handle more and more flights."

With a massive $2-billion injection the Calgary airport will seek to secure its place as a key global hub, doubling its current size and adding a runway that will boost the number of destinations the city can reach.

It's a project critical to Calgary's future, officials say.

"As the city increasingly becomes a decision-making centre, that connectedness and ability to fly directly to any and every place in the world becomes increasingly important," says Bruce Graham, head of Calgary Economic Development.

On the books for years, the airport expansion gets underway in earnest this spring. By 2015, when it's completed, a new chapter in the airport's history will be ushered in.

Already considered one of the most efficient airports in the country, only Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal host more passengers each year than Calgary. Almost 200,000 flights and 12.5 million passengers passed through the airport last year.

Except for 2009 when the recession slowed travel worldwide, traffic at Calgary's airport has been growing at a rate of about four per cent a year -- and the forecasts show that trend continuing.

Currently, the runways and existing terminal -- which has seemed to live in a constant state of construction over the past two decades, the most recent round in 2004 -- are already at capacity.

"We're going to struggle for the next five years until these new projects come on stream to be able to meet the demand that's going to come at us," Bob Schmitt, vice-president of planning and engineering for the Calgary Airport Authority, said. "We're beyond the point now of incremental expansion."

These plans are anything but incremental. It is, by most accounts, the largest construction project the city has ever seen.

By 2014, a $620-million, fourkilometre runway -- the length from downtown to Chinook mall -- will sit on the east side of the terminal. It will be able to handle the world's largest planes carrying enough fuel to fly directly to distant destinations, and boost the maximum number of flight movements from the existing 250,000 a year to 350,000.

Schmitt says the expansion allows them "beyond 30 years" of capacity.

The runway will enable bigger planes capable of travelling longer distances to fly from here, notes Peter Wallis, CEO of the Van Horne Institute, a transportation think-tank based in Calgary, and former chairman of the airport authority.

For example, the new, longer runway would allow a large plane that now could make a Calgary to Tokyo flight to carry enough fuel to reach Hong Kong.

Asia is the key area Calgary hopes to target with any new flights, capitalizing on a new tourism market in China and building further trade links.

"The plan, of course, is to attract more flights from Asia into Calgary," Wallis added, pointing to Korea and Japan. "The other points in Asia which would be logical would be points in China, Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong.

"This longer runway will certainly facilitate that kind of operation."

Right now, the airport has its hands full with the flights already coming in.

According to NAV Canada, which runs the control tower, during the main rush hours -- typically 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. -- a plane takes off or lands every minute.

With more planes than space, in good weather there can be arrival delays of up to 45 minutes and departure lags of 15.

As well, the existing three runways intersect, meaning only one can be used at a time. The new parallel north-south runway will offer another option for air traffic controllers -- who will monitor all four runways from a new, taller tower being built south of the terminal buildings -- allowing two flights to take off or land at the same time.

New airlines would like to fly into Calgary, and those already here might like to add routes. But the airport authority says there is simply no room unless they use the less popular time slots.

Schmitt says they are seeing about five peaks each day, each lasting at least two hours.

"We're busy all the time and at the peaks we're even busier," he added.

While U.S. and international flights make up 30 per cent of airport traffic, it's the sector with the most potential for growth. The surge of passengers using customs has forced the facility to implement a two-hour window, limiting when travellers can go through.

With the new international terminal, being built at a cost of $1.4 billion and ready by 2015, all flights beyond Canada will be handled in the 22-gate building, which can be expanded to almost 40 gates.

The 34 gates in the existing building will handle in-Canada flights.

Already crews are relocating Jazz from the eastern end of the terminal to get ready for the construction on that side of the building. They are also moving sewer, water, gas, electricity and telecom lines -- at a cost of $130 million -- to prepare the site for the four years of construction that will follow.

More than 7.5 million cubic metres of dirt will be moved, 500,000 cubic metres of gravel and 260,000 cubic metres of concrete will be used -- and that's just for the runway.

The 1.5 million cubic metres of dirt dug out for the 183,500 square-metre, five-level terminal building will be used for the runway project.

Schmitt says because all the construction is taking place on the eastern edge of the airport, there should be "minimal impact on the travelling public" -- although the access from Barlow Trail to the south will close in April.

In March, the airport improvement fees -- levied on passengers departing from Calgary, about 35 per cent of those using the airport -- rises by $3 to $25 to help pay for the new infrastructure. The airport authority's debt load will also increase because of the project.

While the federal government helped pay for parallel runways at the Vancouver and Toronto airports, the airport authority said, it has to fund the $620 million for 16L/34R on its own.

Airlines are also chafing at the growing delays.

Gregg Saretsky, CEO of Calgary-based WestJet Airlines Ltd, believes the new runway is desperately needed, citing daily examples where flights are "15 or 20 minutes delayed because of inadequate air space. The second runway fixes that."

However, he is concerned about the cost of the projects.

"It's a question of whether or not the way it is all being built is the most cost-effective. The same thing with the new international transport facility. We have a difference of opinion. I think the airport authority believes that they're being frugal. It's just a question of degree," he said during an interview last month. "I think that just making sure that we're taking out any of the excess, any of the showpieces from the terminal building.

"And in a way that provides capacity just in time. It doesn't mean all those gates have to be built out at the same time."

Schmitt points out the airline consultative committee WestJet sits on endorsed the expansion plans and that the new terminal has to open all at once since the entire customs complex will be moved from one building to the next overnight.

The most controversial part of the airport's expansion plans has been the closing of Barlow Trail this spring -- the new runway's taxiway will be built on top of it -- and debate over whether a tunnel is needed to accommodate an east-west extension of Airport Trail.

The airport authority has said it won't put money toward the tunnel, although it's contributing to road improvements to better take traffic around, and the provincial and federal governments have declined to chip in.

City council has asked for a new report outlining the proposed cost of the tunnel (other estimates have ranged wildly, some above $500 million). However, the city has no specific budget for the project.

The city has tried arguing that extending Airport Trail makes economic sense, especially for moving goods.

The changes will also help bolster another often-unseen part of the airport's growing traffic -- cargo.

The amount of cargo moving through the airport has been on the rise, with the goods being shipped hitting 134,000 tonnes in 2007, more than double what was moving through less than a decade earlier.

The only Canadian city with around-the-clock air cargo to Asia and Europe, the Calgary airport is also developing its newest trade park, Deerfoot North. It will also get back the land on the west side of the airport that the current NAV Canada tower now sits on.

"Imagine what the airport will look like in 2015," Van Horne's Wallis says. "It will be a much busier airport, with the potential for carriers flying directly from Asia. It will be a very bright, pleasing, friendly space.

"It will be a much more efficient airport."

[email protected]

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Gigantic numbers for giant projects

$2.05 billion

Budgeted cost of the new runway and international terminal.

4.2 kilometres

Length of the new runway, about the distance from downtown to Chinook mall. It will be Canada's longest runway. The runway will be 61 metres wide, almost the width of a football field.

260,000

Cubic metres of concrete, about as much as the 101-storey Shanghai World Financial Centre, the tallest building in China.

5,000

Lights for the runway and taxiway.

10 million

Litres of rainwater (estimated) falling on the terminal buildings will be recycled each year.

660 kilometres

In-floor radiant heating tubes will be installed in the terminal.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Charter airlines set to take off as economy improves
Local firms add planes, staff in anticipation of better business

Calgary Herald
12 April 2011

Charter airlines in the city are adding planes and staff as the economy starts to stabilize and businesses once again take to the skies.

That investment is an optimistic sign, says aviation consultant Rick Erickson.

"Charter groups are the first to feel the chill in an economic downturn and the last to respond," Erickson, with RP Erickson & Associates, said. "The market remains relatively buoyant certainly compared to 18 and 24 months ago."

Bill Houghton, general manager of Calgary-based Regional 1 Airlines, said they have recently added two Canadair Regional Jets (CRJs) to their fleet and upped their staff size by about a third to capitalize on the upswing.

One of the new planes is being modified as a corporate shuttle, Houghton said, with fewer seats and those remaining replaced by La-Z Boy chairs. "But it's not going to boom like it did in 2005, when the oilsands went nuts," he cautioned. "When you're talking contracts now, you've got to sharpen your pencil."

Regional 1, which started life as a scheduled service in 2003, reconfigured itself as a charter company specializing in contracts rather than day-to-day hires. In the 2008 downturn it laid off some people, until a UN contract that continues allowed it to bring back everyone a few months later.

Now it has added the two planes to bring its fleet to seven -two of which are overseas in Afghanistan and Pakistan with supplied crews -and increased its overall staff to about 40, including a new business development manager.

The more diversified Sunwest Aviation has also been building, adding four aircraft this year to increase its fleet to 41, including an additional air ambulance, and hiring another 18 people to bring the payroll to 224.

"Our business is definitely on a growth trend," said Ian Darnley, Sunwest's director of business development. "Over the last six months we've had steady growth.

"It's being driven by growth in charter demand across the full spectrum of operations we do."

While flying crews and their gear into the oilpatch remained more consistent over the past few years, both Regional 1 and Sunwest say, more discretionary travel took a bigger hit over the past couple of years. It's that market Regional 1 will try to capture with its revamped CRJ, while Sunwest's Darnley said the traffic in that executive sector has been increasing over the past six months.

"We're seeing increased activity," Erickson said, adding Canada has an abundance of aviation resources. "When times get better, they're very quick and quite nimble to respond. There's this pool of talent in the country, skilled workers, that can be fairly quickly harnessed and put into play. So that's exactly what's happening."
 

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Calgary International Airport is the international airport that serves Calgary, Alberta, Canada and the surrounding region; it is situated approximately 17 km (11 mi) northeast of downtown Calgary. The airport offers scheduled non-stop flights to major cities in Canada, the Caribbean, Central America, Europe, the United States, and East Asia.

Calgary International Airport serves as headquarters for WestJet and as a hub airport for Air Canada and Air Canada Jazz. The airport is one of eight Canadian airports with US Border Preclearance facilities. The airport is operated by The Calgary Airport Authority as part of Transport Canada's National Airports System. It is Canada's fourth busiest airport by passenger traffic and third busiest by aircraft movements, handling 12,630,695 passengers, up 3.7% compared to 2009, and 234,239 movements up 0.5%. SOURCE

Due to it's small size and increasing passenger demand for international traffic, the Calgary Airport Authority has embarked upon an ambitious redevelopment which will include the construction of a new runway, apron and new international terminal building. Additionnally a tunnel will be developed underneath the runway with access for the future Airport rail connection.


 

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Destinations

These are destinations that are served by the following airlines to YEG:

Air Canada: London-Heathrow, Montreal-Trudeau, Ottawa, Toronto-Pearson, Vancouver

Air Canada operated by Jazz: Calgary, Fort McMurray, Grande Prairie, Regina, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Yellowknife

Air North: Whitehorse

Air Transat: (Seasonal) Cancun, Huatulco, London-Gatwick, Montego Bay, Puerto Vallarta, Punta Cana, Varadero

Alaska Airlines operated by Horizon Airlines: Seattle/Tacoma

Canadian North: Yellowknife

Central Mountain Air: Calgary, Fort St. John, High Level, Rainbow Lake

Delta Connection operated by Compass Airlines: Minneapolis/St. Paul

Delta Connection operated by Pinnacle Airlines: Minneapolis/St. Paul

First Air: Yellowknife

Northwestern Air: Fort McMurray, Fort Smith, Hay River

United Airlines: Houston-Intercontinental, Newark (Seasonal: Denver)

United Express operated by Shuttle America: Chicago-O'Hare, Denver

United Express operated by SkyWest Airlines: San Francisco (Seasonal: Chicago-O'Hare, Denver

US Airways: Phoenix

WestJet: Abbotsford, Calgary, Cancun, Comox, Fort McMurray, Grande Prairie, Kelowna, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Puerto Vallarta, Regina, Saskatoon, Toronto-Pearson, Vancouver, Victoria, Winnipeg, Yellowknife (Seasonal: Halifax, Hamilton, Mazatlan, Montreal-Trudeau, Orlando, Ottawa, Palm Springs, Phoenix, San Jose del Cabo)

WestJet operated by Thomas Cook: (Seasonal) Kahului

WestJet operated by WestJet Encore: Calgary, Grande Prairie
 

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Charter Airlines

Destinations by Sunwing Airlines:

Cancun, Huatulco, Las Vegas, Los Cabos, Mazatlan, Montego Bay, Puerto Vallarta, Abel Santa Maria, Varadero
 

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Some information on Montréal–Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport which is the main airport in Montreal and the third busiest in Canada after Toronto and Vancouver.

Montréal–Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport (IATA: YUL, ICAO: CYUL) (French: Aéroport international Pierre-Elliott-Trudeau de Montréal) or Montréal–Trudeau, formerly known as Montréal–Dorval International Airport (Aéroport international Montréal-Dorval), is a Canadian airport located on the Island of Montreal, 20 km (12 mi) from Montreal's downtown core. The airport terminals are located entirely in the suburb of Dorval, while the Air Canada headquarters complex and one runway is located in Saint-Laurent, Montreal. It is an international airport serving Greater Montreal, along with the regions of northern Vermont and New York. The airport is named in honour of Pierre Elliott Trudeau, the 15th Prime Minister of Canada.

The airport is one of two managed and operated by Aéroports de Montréal (ADM), a not-for-profit corporation without share capital; the other airport is Montréal–Mirabel northwest of Montreal, which was initially intended to replace the one in Dorval but now deals almost solely with cargo.[9] Montréal–Trudeau is owned by Transport Canada which has a 60-year lease with Aéroports de Montréal, as per Canada's National Airport Policy of 1994.

Trudeau is the busiest airport in the province of Quebec, the fourth-busiest airport in Canada by passenger traffic and by aircraft movements, with 14.8 million passengers in 2014 and 230,619 movements in 2012.[5] It is one of eight Canadian airports with United States border preclearance and is one of the main gateways into Canada with 9,113,740 or 61.5% of its passengers being on non-domestic flights, the highest proportion amongst Canada's airports during 2014. It is one of four Air Canada hubs and, in that capacity, serves mainly Quebec, the Atlantic Provinces and Eastern Ontario. The air route between YUL and Paris-Charles de Gaulle is the seventh-busiest in terms of passengers carried (1.2 million) between Europe and a non-European destination. On an average day, nearly 40,000 passengers transit through Montréal-Trudeau.

Airlines servicing Trudeau offer year-round non-stop flights to four continents, namely Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America. Additionally, Trudeau has seasonal flights to South America. It is one of only two airports in Canada with direct flights to five continents or more, the other being Toronto Pearson International Airport. Trudeau airport is headquarters and a large hub for Air Canada, the country's largest airline. It is also an operating base for Air Inuit, Air Transat, CanJet and Sunwing Airlines. Transport Canada operates a Civil Aviation Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul facility on site, with a fleet of Government owned and operated civil aircraft. Bombardier Aerospace has an assembly facility on site where they build regional jets and Challenger business jets.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montr%C3%A9al%E2%80%93Pierre_Elliott_Trudeau_International_Airport#Airlines_and_destinations














 

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A video on the proposed Aéro-Train line which is a rail line that will connect Montréal–Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport with Central Station in Downtown Montreal.

 

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Air China to Launch Beijing-Montreal Flights in Cooperation with Air Canada

Star Alliance carriers to expand network between China and Canada

BEIJING and MONTREAL, May 28, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ - Air China and Air Canada said today they are preparing for the launch of non-stop flights between Beijing and Montreal that will create the first transpacific direct link between Asia and Montreal. The flights will be operated by Air China starting on September 29, 2015, initially three times a week, with Boeing 777-300ER aircraft and Air Canada will place its code on the flights for sale on a codeshare basis in a first phase. In the second phase, subject to requisite approvals by the relevant competition authorities, Air Canada and Air China intend to form a comprehensive revenue sharing joint venture in respect of all flights between China and Canada, which would ensure the long-term sustainability of the new Beijing-Montreal service. Seats are now available for purchase.

With the launch of non-stop Beijing-Montreal service, the Star Alliance carriers will offer convenient connections and seamless transfers for customers to other cities in China, Canada and the United States via their hubs in Beijing and Montreal.

As previously announced, Air China and Air Canada signed a memorandum of understanding in November 2014 in Beijing setting out the principles for an integrated revenue sharing joint venture. The MOU provides for an enhanced partnership on routes between China and Canada which is expected to stimulate traffic growth between the two countries and is subject to Air Canada and Air China making the necessary filings, obtaining competition and other regulatory approvals and finalizing documentation. The joint venture is expected to come into effect in the second half of 2015.

"We are delighted to announce the planned introduction of the first non-stop service between Beijing and Montreal in September," said Song Zhiyong, President and Chief Executive Officer of Air China Limited. "This new route to Canada's second largest city will strengthen the links between China and Canada; it will provide travellers with convenient travel options in cooperation with our partner Air Canada whose extensive North American network includes many cities easily served from Montreal throughout Quebec, Atlantic Canada and the United States. We look forward to continuing to develop our enhanced partnership with Air Canada and to implementing our comprehensive joint venture upon receiving all necessary approvals."

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Air Canada Adds Lyon, London-Gatwick to its Growing Global Network

  • New mainline service between Montreal and Lyon will be only year-round flight between North America and France's second largest metropolitan area
  • New Air Canada rouge route to London-Gatwick complements and builds on the success of Air Canada flights to London Heathrow, Air Canada's largest international gateway

MONTREAL, June 25, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ - Air Canada today further expanded its extensive global network with the announcement of new non-stop services to Lyon, France and London's Gatwick airport beginning in summer 2016. The two new routes will provide customers even more convenient options when travelling to Europe for business or leisure.

"Pursuing our ongoing strategy to expand internationally, Air Canada is pleased to offer customers non-stop, year-round service between Montreal and Lyon, heart of the second largest metropolitan area in France. Air Canada continues to serve Paris Charles de Gaulle and this new Air Canada mainline route will further increase convenience for customers travelling to France as well as provide the only year-round service between North America and Lyon. It also complements our Air Canada rouge Nice-Côte d'Azur service," said Benjamin Smith, President, Passenger Airlines, at Air Canada.

"Our new seasonal Air Canada rouge service between Toronto and London's Gatwick airport will complement our extensive operation at London Heathrow, our largest gateway outside Canada with non-stop service from eight Canadian cities. Air Canada rouge is ideally-suited to serve London-Gatwick, with its focus on leisure travel and provide easy access to southern London. This new service will also make us the only Canadian carrier serving multiple airports in the London region and complements our Air Canada rouge service to Manchester and Edinburgh. Both new routes offer customers convenient connection times with our extensive domestic, U.S. transborder and international network."

James Cherry, President and Chief Executive Officer of Aéroports de Montréal said: "This new scheduled service between Montreal and Lyon, France's second-largest urban area, is excellent news that further supports Montreal–Trudeau's positioning as a hub between North America and Europe, particularly French-speaking Europe."

Howard Eng, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Greater Toronto Airports Authority said: "As Canada's largest gateway hub airport, we welcome Air Canada's announcement of a new rouge service from Toronto Pearson to London's Gatwick airport starting next summer. This new service will offer our passengers even more choice and convenience when it comes to planning their travel schedule – and that's an important part of how we're working to put our passengers first."

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