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May 16, 2008 | General

EDMONTON — A task force charged with the responsibility of identifying and prioritizing improvements in ground transportation to the Edmonton International Airport met for the first time today.

The task force is led by Scott Clements, President and CEO of Edmonton Airports, Rick Millican, General Manager of the City of Edmonton’s Transportation Department, and Ron Triffo of Stanley Technology Group.

Other members of the task force, not all of whom are present at the first meeting, include:

Mayor Bill Smith, City of Edmonton

Bruce Duncan, General Manager, Planning Department, City of Edmonton

Janet Riopel, President, Edmonton Chamber of Commerce

Rick LeLacheur, President, Economic Development Edmonton

Peter Mercer, Downtown Business Association

Jack Davis, Deputy Minister, Alberta Transportation and Utilities

Gordon Graydon, Mayor of Grande Prairie and representative of the Northern Alberta Development Council

Harry Moore, Past President, South Edmonton Business Association

John Barnard, Executive Director, Leduc/Nisku Economic Development Authority

Lynn Dale, Executive Director, Capital Region Forum

Reeve Albert Klapstein, County of Leduc

Larry Majeski, County Manager, County of Leduc

Mayor John Jackie, City of Leduc

Kevin Robins, City Manager, City of Leduc

John Brennan, Assistant to the Hon. Anne McLellan, Government of Canada

The task force will determine its own priorities and time lines at its first meeting. In general, it is expected to identify priority items for improvement and assign responsibility for investigating the viability of those improvements. The task force will operate with a relatively short time frame, as at least some short-term improvements are hoped to be implemented in time for the consolidation of passenger service on June 1st. Long term improvements will also be examined by the task force.

The task force will be provided with the results of a public opinion poll, conducted by Haines Elliott Marketing Services Inc. of Edmonton, which represents the views of a random sampling of Edmonton region residents conducted in late January by telephone. Copies of the poll are available to the media.

The task force will also be briefed on the progress of a user-study conducted by Applications Management Inc. of Edmonton based on face-to-face interviews with travellers at the International and Municipal Airports during the month of January. The task force will provide direction to guide the data analysis, and the final report will be made available to the media in due course.

In addition, Edmonton Airports has asked the public, through a series of advertisements which appeared in Edmonton area and northern Alberta newspapers on February 2, 3 and 4 and which will be repeated in Edmonton this weekend, to submit written suggestions for improvements by February 29. Those suggestions will be provided to the task force in March as a further input and will be made available to the media.