Edmonton-area airport now accepting international flights

Evan Miller, 17, flies through the skies above Cooking Lake Airport Sunday, September 7, 2014. Global News

EDMONTON – A small local airport’s plans to accept American flights has taken off. Cooking Lake Airport, located 15 kilometers east of Edmonton, has received approval from the Canada Border Services Agency to accept Canada-US flights.

The airport will accept private and corporate aircraft.

“This is actually a bit of a game changer,” said Jim Johansson, the president of Cooking Lake Airport. “We actually just got notification from Canada Border Service Agency about a week ago that the airport is fully operational, and is completely approved to accept international flights.”

Cooking Lake won’t have a full-time CBSA customs agent on site; instead, the airport will operate under the Agency’s CANPASS program, which involves having passengers and crew go through customs screening before taking off.

“The Cooking Lake Airport is actually the same distance from downtown Edmonton than the International Airport,” said Johansson. “It presents another option for international arrivals, to come into Edmonton and do their business downtown.”

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Brad Ferguson, CEO and president of Edmonton Economic Development, said the new flights will help Edmonton’s business community.

“Cooking Lake Airport now gives local businesses another fast and convenient option for clearing customs upon their return to Canada,” he said.  “This helps our economy to be more efficient and competitive.”

Cooking Lake is Canada’s oldest airport, opening in 1926. This is the first time the airport has been able to accept flights from the US.

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