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May 14, 2008 | General

Edmonton Airports is pleased to announce the development of a new strategic management portfolio focusing on the General Aviation Industry in the Capital Region. Effective immediately, Mr. Andy Shanks will assume the role of Manager of General Aviation Services for Edmonton Airports, and will oversee all General Aviation (GA) initiatives within our airport system. Edmonton Airports manages Edmonton International Airport, Edmonton City Centre Airport, and Cooking Lake Airport, all of which support General Aviation activity.

Mr. Shanks, age 50, offers significant expertise and experience within the industry, most recently serving as the Manager of Airside Operations at Edmonton International Airport. Scott Clements, President and Chief Executive Officer of Edmonton Airports, states, “As a pilot with significant hands on experience, a first hand understanding of the industry, and an airport operations background, Andy is ideally suited for this promotion. As a GA enthusiast, Andy shares the unique perspective and industry knowledge of the GA customers we serve.” Prior to his employment with Edmonton Airports, Shanks also managed the process of developing the legislation adopted by Airport Authorities, providing him with an insightful understanding and wealth of knowledge of the Canadian Air industry.

The newly created General Aviation portfolio will position Edmonton Airports to aggressively implement and achieve our General Aviation initiatives and goals by coordinating the appropriate resources. General Aviation activity includes private and recreational flying, flight schools and flight training, charter services, search and rescue, avionics, helicopter activity, corporate services, private charters, and spin off activities such as aircraft maintenance and air ambulance services.

The creation of this strategic management portfolio will refocus Edmonton Airports’ initiatives and identify an accessible, central point of contact for our General Aviation customers. Our customer service goal is to provide our GA clients with a clearly identified management contact with the authority to affect change, and the ability to access the range of resources and expertise of Edmonton Airports, including marketing, real estate development, and airside operations.

Andy Shanks is currently:

A Director on the Board of the Alberta Aviation Council
A Director on the Board of the Cooking Lake Condominium Association
President of the Alberta Airport Operators Association.
Shanks states, “Edmonton Airports manages a very unique complement of airport assets. ECCA is the most sophisticated downtown airport in Canada with tremendous potential for continued GA development. Cooking Lake is the only public float plane base co-located with a landbase, creating an ideal environment for pilots to make the changeover from wheels to floats.” Together, these two facilities pioneered Canadian Aviation Infrastructure dating back to the early 1920s.

BACKGROUNDER: Edmonton Airports System

In the early 1920s, Cooking Lake developed into a popular float plane base and land base used for private and commercially owned seaplanes and small, wheeled aircraft. A Flight Training School, small aircraft repair and paint shops, and fuel services are now also available at Cooking Lake.

Cooking Lake remains the only public airport in Canada to introduce a condominium structure. This unique condominium structure was implemented in 1996, when Edmonton Airports assumed management of Cooking Lake from Alberta Transport. This condominium structure offers interested parties an opportunity to purchase land rather than lease land. At most Canadian Airports, there is no opportunity to purchase land.

Cooking Lake has experienced significant growth since 1996; of the 72 available lots, 59 have been sold, 10 are leased and only three remain available for sale or lease. Approximately 100 aircraft are based out of Cooking Lake.

Edmonton City Centre Airport (ECCA) is a centre of excellence for corporate and general aviation, including small charters, private and company aircraft, training, military, industrial and medevac flights. In 1999, ECCA maintained its ranking as the number one GA airport in Canada in passenger numbers and number three in itinerant aircraft movements*. Approximately 50 businesses and over 700 people are employed at ECCA. Approximately 100 planes are based at ECCA including, private, charter, corporate aircraft, and helicopters.

In addition to scheduled commercial carriers and cargo activity, Edmonton International Airport supports General Aviation activity, including flight charter operations, military activity, and corporate aircraft activity. Edmonton International Airport facilitates a combined daily average of approximately 180 flights in all of these categories.

*An itinerant aircraft movement describes an aircraft that actually makes a stop at an airport, as opposed to training circuits or touch-and-goes.