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August 19, 2010 | General

Edmonton City Centre Airport information available online

August 19, 2010 (Edmonton, Alta.) – Edmonton Airports has updated several of the ECCA briefing notes used during last year’s public consultation process and has made these available online.

These briefing notes provide a range of background information on various aspects of ECCA operations and economic impact and the phased transition of the airport lands. The notes also address alternate arrangements for general aviation and air ambulance services.

For your convenience, outlined below are the key messages for each of the primary issues related to the phased closure of ECCA:

  1. Consolidation was required and has worked; we are investing $1B at EIA based on consolidation.
  • Also investing $20M at EIA for GA
  • Also investing up to $3M at Villeneuve for GA

2. Scheduled service concludes at ECCA in 2012.

  • Even now, the limited schedule service allowed at ECCA is not used to near its capacity; for example, in June 2010 only 7.8% of allowable scheduled seats were used.
  • As of August 1, scheduled traffic from Grande Prairie and Peace River was operating at ECCA. High Level and Fort McMurray, which are both permitted scheduled service, had no such service.

3. ECCA provides services to a small number of specific users; it does not provide significant service to the North.

  • 41% of flight movements were flight training, for example.
  • Flights from and to Calgary International Airport rank as the third-highest user of ECCA, after ECCA itself (flights originating from and returning to ECCA – primarily the flying school) and Fort McMurray.
  • Access to and from the North is excellent at EIA, which is the region’s primary airport serving the North. Passengers currently using ECCA can be easily accommodated at EIA.  In addition, driving to key business areas from EIA can differ by as little as 10 minutes compared to ECCA.

4. One runway isclosed at ECCA. This does NOT mean closure or change in use of ECCA. The airport remains fully operational. Many airports around the world operate with one runway; Kelowna and Gatwick, for example. Additionally, many of the airports where flights to ECCA originate only have one runway and quite a few have no navigational
aids.

5. The City continues developing its vision for development of the airport lands. Currently, five international firms have been selected to develop their vision for a redeveloped green site.

6. Air ambulance service is NOT required to transition from ECCA UNTIL full transition plans and infrastructure are completed, by the Province of Alberta.

  • Therefore air ambulance services continue operating out of ECCA.
  • Alberta Health Services is responsible for air ambulance services throughout Alberta and continues to work with EA and other health stakeholders to develop appropriate plans for the eventual transition of air ambulance from ECCA to EIA.
  • When the transition occurs, EIA – like other airports including Calgary International – will support a safe, efficient air ambulance system. For example, for the very small subset of air ambulance patients who are time sensitive, rotary transfers to hospital will be used instead of ground transfers, as they are at other
    airports.
  • U of A Hospital is the primary trauma hospital in Edmonton – approximately 8 minutes further by ground ambulance. Helicopter transport time from EIA to U of A hospital is just 12 minutes; from EIA to Royal Alexandra Hospital is 13 minutes.
  • Majority of red cases are flown directly by STARS, who have bases in Grande Prairie, Calgary and Edmonton. Example, August 7 weekend, automobile crash in Grande Prairie – person flown directly to U of A Hospital by STARS.
  • Use of jets versus turbo props will significantly impact time: actual transportation time for fixed wing air ambulance is a small portion of total decision making and patient stabilization time.

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