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May 16, 2008 | General

EDMONTON — Air passenger numbers for the first half of 1997 continued a steady climb over the same period in 1996, Edmonton Airports announced today.

Between January 1 and June 30, 1997, there were 1,825,056 passengers who used Edmonton International Airport. That compares to 1,632,202 people who used the International or the Municipal Airport during the same period in 1996. That represents a 12% increase in passenger volume for the Edmonton market in the first half of this year.

“We experienced an unusually strong year for passenger growth in 1996, with a 26% increase over 1995 traffic,” said Scott Clements, President and CEO of Edmonton Airports. “Current indications are that last year’s explosive growth is not only being sustained this year, it is actually being followed by another year of above-average growth.”

Air passenger growth during the period of 1991 to 1995 was stagnant in Edmonton, but a combination of consolidation, improved business climate, and the introduction of discount carriers and lower fares have resulted in a marked jump in air travel in 1996 and 1997:

-1991: declined 11% compared to 1990
-1992: grew 1%
-1993: declined 4%
-1994: grew 1%
-1995: grew 5%
-1996: grew 26%
-1997 to June 30: grew 12% over 1996

“The current pattern of above-average growth, combined with an improving economy, underlines our need to proceed with renovations and expansion to the Air Terminal Building to properly serve both current and future customers,” said Clements. “While we intend to proceed prudently and manage our costs carefully, it is also clear that we must plan now so that Edmonton will continue to have an appropriate facility for the next 20 years.”