Last year was a successful one for the Edmonton International Airport (EIA), where more passengers used the airport and new commercial developments were announced.
More passengers and flights
The airport said it served more than 7.8 million passengers last year, which is 3.8 per cent more than in 2016. The airport said domestic travel increased by 6.9 per cent over the previous year, while the number of inbound international travellers to Edmonton increased over 20 per cent. At the same time, travel to and from the United States was down four per cent.
Several new flights were announced in 2017, including to San Francisco, as well as Huatulco, Mexico, and existing routes to Abbotsford, Kelowna, Victoria and Cancun were expanded. In 2017, Flair Airlines also announced EIA would become the discount carrier’s main connecting hub.
Edmonton’s direct flight to Reykjavik was cancelled by Icelandair for a couple of months in the winter due to lack of demand.
Premium Outlet Mall, Costco and other commercial developments
EIA said there was $750 million in private investment in EIA, and the new commercial developments around the airport will lead to the creation of more than 2,000 new jobs.
One of the biggest developments — the Premium Outlet Collection mall, which will be similar to the CrossIron Mills near Calgary — is set to open on May 2.
A new Costco warehouse will also open on the airport lands in late 2018, providing relief to the busy Edmonton locations and offering more shopping options for residents south of the city.
READ MORE: New Costco opening in 2018 near Leduc
Several other commercial and retail developments will also come to fruition in the coming year, including Red Cup Distillery.
A place for your four-legged friends to stay is also in the works. EIA said it has entered into an agreement with Dogtopia to open a new dog daycare, boarding and spa facility. It’s expected to open in the fall of 2018.
Ground and air cargo
In addition to more passengers and new commercial developments, 250,000 square feet of warehouse and cargo space was added to the airport.
In 2017, Aeroterm opened its new $10-million logistics distribution centre at EIA, including 50,000 square feet of airside flight kitchen and air cargo support facilities.
Construction also began on a new, 25,000-square-foot mixed-use freight forwarder building for Runway Developments. The facility, set to open in the first quarter of 2018, is designed for mixed-use cargo from customs brokers, logistics companies and freight forwarders.
The airport said 2017 was a good year for air cargo carriers as well. Air Canada, AF/KLM, Canadian North, Cargojet, DHL, FedEx, Icelandair “executed strong performance.”
More international cargo flights were also added, with Nippon Cargo Airlines adding Edmonton as a pit stop to its Chicago to Tokyo route.
Other developments in 2017 included several advanced technology companies joining the Alberta Aerospace and Technology Centre at EIA; the unveiling of a short story dispensing machine for waiting passengers; and the creation of a joint planning partnership between EIA, the City of Edmonton, Leduc County and the City of Leduc.