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May 14, 2008 | General

EDMONTON–Edmonton Airports Board of Directors has approved plans for Phase III of the $265 million Air Terminal Redevelopment Project.

The approval will result in the tendering of contracts for construction of the Central Hall, connecting the existing terminal to the Southeast Terminal Expansion. Also included in Phase III will be construction of a Commuter Concourse dedicated to facilitating regional flights and passengers. Phase III will be let to public tender in early November, preceding the opening of the Southeast Terminal Expansion on November 25th.

Edmonton Airports Board of Directors Chairman Sid Hanson says “With a much clearer vision of the future of Canada’s airline industry, we are very confident that this is the right project at the right time. It will allow Edmonton Airports to meet the Capital Region’s air service needs with a modern, efficient and affordable facility today and for the next 20 years.”

Initially, the ATR Project was estimated to cost approximately $300 million. However, ongoing restructuring of the airline industry has resulted in a total of $35 million being saved by scaling-back the project to meet the modified needs of airlines serving the Capital Region.

The ongoing amalgamation of Air Canada and Canadian Airlines International and subsequent air service rationalization has allowed Edmonton Airports to:

· Forego major renovations to the area of the existing terminal building now occupied by Canadian Airlines.

· Scale-back initial plans for the Commuter Concourse dedicated to facilitating regional flights. (see attachment)

Design of the ATR Project incorporates elements of Edmonton and Alberta’s culture, heritage and natural environment while improving customer service levels. To that end, passengers and air service providers alike can look forward to numerous facility improvements including:

1. Expanded Canadian and United States customs and immigration facilities.

2. Additional food and beverage choices and expanded retail facilities.

3. A larger “Meet and Greet” area for arriving passengers.

4. Spacious passenger lounges with modern furniture and decor.

5. More space at airline check-in counters.

6. New baggage carousels

7. A building design that facilitates natural passenger flows.

8. An improved public address system.

9. An additional pedestrian bridge connecting the new terminal to the parkade.

10. A second bank of elevators at the south end of the parkade.

11. New state-of-the-art Flight Information Display Screens.

12. More public washrooms.

13. Improved barrier-free facilities and services.

14. Additional curbside access for passenger pick-up and drop-off at the terminal building.

15. Internal public viewing area of airside operations.

The cost of the Air Terminal Redevelopment Project is being repaid with revenues from the Airport Improvement Fee or AIF. Initiated in 1997, the AIF used to be paid prior to departing Edmonton International Airport but is now included in the cost of airlines tickets. This change was completed in January at the request of passengers who felt inconvenienced by having to pay the fee at the airport.

The Airport Improvement Fee generates approximately $14-15 million a year depending on the volume of passengers using the facility. Current passenger volume projections and lending rates indicate that a period of up to 20 years will be required to pay for the expansion project based on a $10 Airport Improvement Fee.

The ATR Project is a four-phase initiative being implemented to minimize disruptions to passengers and tenants at Edmonton International Airport. Phase IV will include additional renovations to the existing terminal building featuring the application of surface finishes matching those in the new terminal plus modern furnishings and enhanced signage and lighting, all designed to provide a seamless transition between the existing and new facilities.

Edmonton Airports, with the support of our community stakeholders has embarked on an Air Terminal Redevelopment Project that will see the terminal and aircraft apron area double in size. The goal of the expansion is to improve our facilities to accommodate both current demands and realistic future growth while providing customer convenience and comfort within a friendly atmosphere.