broken clouds
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October 19, 2009 | General

EDMONTON (Sept. 21, 2009) Security breaches, delays and frustrated customers—all
operational and customer service nightmares which Edmonton International Airport (EIA) plans to avoid owing to a thorough trial of the Terminal Express facility. EIA will put the new, temporary addition through a rigorous battery of live tests using volunteer passengers, airlines and airport management to ensure these kinds of problems don’t happen with real operations when Terminal Express opens on Oct. 1.

Today, 65 “passengers,” equipped with mock boarding passes and scripts indicating different needs and abilities, will work with airlines to simulate peak-hour operations in Terminal Express. The volunteers will test boarding processes, wayfinding signage and arrival procedures. Simultaneously, airport management will be evaluating the actual structure, security systems, customs controls, IT equipment and staff training. Terminal Express is the temporary addition which will allow airport operations to continue normally without losing critical airline bridges as construction of new terminal commences from the south end of the current terminal.

“Air travel is a series of processes, and if any of these processes are compromised, that adds time and hassle to the travel experience. These trials are all about testing processes before passengers are impacted by a change to the airport,” says Reg Milley, EIA President and CEO. “When we undertake these trials, our teams are, in fact, searching for problems with the facility. This way, we know we have time to fix those issues before they affect the customer.”

This trial is the final step in a month-long, airportwide training program designed to involve all airport stakeholders. The goal: ensure Terminal Express operates efficiently and enables excellent customer service both from staff and the building itself. An extra month was built into the construction schedule to allow these training and trial sessions so airport staff can be confidently up to speed on opening day.

EIA’s current terminal facilities have a design capacity of 5.5 million annual travellers. EIA is currently operating with almost one million travellers above the design capacity. Expansion 2012 is EIA’s $1-billion airport development program which will greatly expand the number of aircraft gates, the amount of shops and services, and the overall ability of the airport to provide efficient terminal facilities and services for both passengers and airlines while maintaining high levels of customer service. The experience and team building from today’sTerminal Express activation trials will also prepare staff for the major opening of the permanent terminal expansion in 2012.

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Media inquiries:
Traci Bednard, Vice President, Communications and Passenger Experience
p. 780 890 8055 | c. 780 909 9554 | e. tbednard@flyeia.com