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Tom Ruth, President and CEO of Edmonton International Airport

Tom Ruth
President and CEO
Edmonton International Airport

To our passengers, friends and community,

This is indeed an unprecedented and difficult time for many within our community and our region. As President and CEO of Edmonton Airports, I want to convey our thoughts to all of you who may have been impacted financially and those of you who are dealing with self-isolation and being separated from family and loved ones. I also want to share our deep gratitude and admiration for the many front-line workers who are working tirelessly to ensure that we, as a community, have the resources and goods that we need: our first responders and those working in hospitals, grocery stores and many other essential services, including our own airport staff. At both Edmonton International Airport (EIA) and Villeneuve Airport, there is important operational work related to safety and security that must carry on, and I want to thank the hundreds of airport workers, airline staff and tenants who remain dedicated to keeping planes in the air and supply chains open to provide the essential goods that we rely on.

The safety and security of the travelling public, our airport community and our employees is always our number one priority. We recognize that airport environments are higher risk than other areas in the community, and we have been working closely with Alberta Health Services and the Public Health Agency of Canada since the beginning of this extraordinary situation. Please visit our website at flyeia.com to learn about the many processes and protocols that we have in place to protect the safety of our passengers and employees.

In line with government direction, EIA remains open for air travel within Canada. As Canada’s most northern major city located more than 300 kilometres from the next major centre, maintaining strong air service connectivity is vital for our region and the many northern communities we serve.

Equally as important as our commercial passenger services are the cargo flights that continue to operate at EIA. Air cargo is a vital service that supports critical supply chains for medical, food, pharmacy and other essential supplies. EIA also handles numerous medevac flights each day to support emergency health situations in remote areas.

EIA is a not-for-profit corporation that directly employs hundreds of people and enables thousands of jobs for our community. This pandemic has had severe impacts to our business, especially in the short-term, but I know we are not alone in this regard.  To reduce our operating costs, we have implemented changes within the terminal building. If you will be flying out of EIA in the coming weeks, some of the changes you will see include a number of concessions and restaurants that have temporarily closed due to reduced passenger volumes. We have relocated some airline check-in counters, and you will see that some parts of our terminal have been closed as we minimize our operational space. We hope you will understand that these temporary changes are necessary, and we appreciate your patience over the coming weeks and months. As a not-for-profit corporation, we rely heavily on revenues from flights and passenger traffic to operate and both have reduced severely. We are working closely with both the federal and provincial governments to ensure the continued viability of our airports during this unparalleled downturn.

We cannot know when this crisis will end, and like all of you, we will do our part to get through this as quickly as possible. When that time comes, we will be here for our community. Air travel will play a major role in helping to rebuild global connections, whether it’s a family vacation, a successful business trip, or bringing distant friends and relatives together. Please know that we will take every step possible to ensure that both EIA and Villeneuve Airport remain safe places for travel and general aviation, and continue to enable jobs and economic growth for our region.   We look forward to welcoming you all again when full air service resumes, and in the meantime, we will work together to get through this.

Please follow EIA on social media and visit our website, flyeia.com for the latest updates on our situation and aviation in general.

All the best,

Tom