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May 16, 2008 | General

EDMONTON — The Board of Directors of Edmonton Airports has approved its five-year plan for the upgrade and expansion of the terminal building at Edmonton International Airport.

Work scheduled for 1998 includes a 1500-vehicle, multi-level, covered parkade. This project will create 225,000 person-hours of work in 1998 and cost approximately $20 million to construct. The parkade will be located immediately adjacent to the terminal building, and will ultimately be connected by covered pedway. The parkade will house rental cars, short and long term parking.

A new roof in 1998 will replace the terminal’s original 30-year old roof which is past its design life and has significant problems with leaking and deterioration as a result. The roof project will be coupled with other utility improvements above the ceiling.

The total cost of 1998 work will be $37 million, and will also include architectural and engineering plans for the south-east expansion which will be presented for approval in 1998.

“These improvements, and planning for future expansion, are required to meet the current demand by air travellers,” said Scott Clements, President and CEO of Edmonton Airports. “We will serve 3.7 million passengers in 1997, and when we reach four million passengers, we are at total capacity at this facility. We need to be planning now for how we will meet that demand, with suitable ‘off-ramps’ built into our plan to allow for changes in traffic patterns if they occur.”

Approximately $21 million of upgrades to the airport were completed in 1996 and 1997, including new holdrooms, expanded surface parking, and additional aircraft bridges. Work scheduled for this fall and winter includes upgrades to several retail outlets, a new escalator at the north end for arriving passengers, and code compliance upgrades to the current terminal building.

The Board adopted a phased approach to the total expansion plan, agreeing to examine passenger volume trends next fall to review whether the next phase of improvement should proceed at that time, or be delayed until passenger volumes reach required levels. This phased approach was recently approved by representatives of the airlines which use Edmonton International Airport.

The total expansion and upgrade project is expected to cost about $235 million and take over five years to complete. It is funded by an Airport Improvement Fee of $5 or $10 on departing passengers at Edmonton International Airport.