Have you been to the Edmonton International Airport (EIA) recently? Not only is the airport itself buzzing with exciting developments, the land around the airport is changing too.
“The Edmonton International Airport has created a business environment that stands above and beyond a normal international airport,” says Dean Wulf, COO, The Avatex Companies. “EIA has become a business hub, an international training centre and a global distribution centre. It continues to innovate by attracting office, retail, distributors, entertainment and hotels that service not only a large portion of Canada’s northern population, but also much of Canada and the Western US markets. From EIA’s vision to build a canal system to enhance the tenant experience to their constant global pursuit of what is possible at this airport, Avatex is proud to be involved in the development of the Edmonton International Airport lands and look forward to continuing our investment here.”
Avatex is currently engaged in AirPoint at EIA, a two-acre retail site; AirPoint at EIA II, a seven acre retail and office site, and AirPoint at EIA III, an eight acre retail and office site.
“It is the forward thinking done in the past that has paved the way for more investment into the EIA, and created a future that will be self sustaining,” Wulf continues. “The various AirPoint developments by Avatex are located right in the heart of this activity and capture the traffic counts and visibility of those travelling to and from the airport as well as Highway 2. EIA and all the partner groups here have worked hard to create a major hub of business, for not just the Edmonton area, but for Western Canada. We are excited to be part of this fast growing business community.”
Geoff Herdman, EIA director, real estate development is also excited about EIA’s continued growth.
“EIA has the largest land mass of any airport in Canada (7,000 acres) with half of that being available for development,” confirms Herdman. “In the last five years EIA has attracted over $750 million of private investment with over 2 million square feet of development completed since 2014. This includes an 800,000 square foot cannabis growing facility with an attached 300,000 square foot processing and distribution centre, a casino and mile-long horse racing track, an auto racing track, a golf course, a Costco, an outlet mall and two hotels, along with restaurants and retail developments.
“The new developments at EIA that opened in 2018 generated approximately 2,000 full-time equivalent jobs along with hundreds of construction jobs throughout the building process. Furthermore, each of these businesses provides rent to EIA, which helps to defray our operating cost, which in turn allows us to charge lower landing fees to airlines, thus improving our competitiveness in attracting air service.”
He goes on to note the many things that make EIA a world-class airport, which includes a growing list of of non-stop destinations and airlines. The most recent additions include:
- Air Canada daily non-stop service between Edmonton and San Francisco and Air Canada Rouge non-stop service to Las Vegas (Las Vegas starts September 3).
- Flair Airlines flights to Vancouver, Toronto, Kelowna, Abbotsford and Halifax.
- Swoop daily service to Las Vegas and twice-weekly service to Phoenix-Mesa and domestic service to London (Ontario), Abbotsford, Winnipeg and Hamilton. Once-weekly service to Orlando.
“Last year was our best in terms of number of travellers, with more than 8.2 million people going through our airport, and 2019 has been even busier so far,” Herdman continues. “The introduction of two ultra-low-cost airlines at EIA has really been a hit with the public in the Edmonton Metropolitan Region; so, we are very optimistic.
“As well, our beautiful terminal expansion in 2012 gave us the ability to add the service our travellers and regional leaders want. With more than 60 shops and restaurants to choose among in the terminal alone, our travellers are able to relax while they travel.
“In addition, we are also building an Airport City as a destination. Travellers can connect through EIA and stop off for a few hours or a few days to enjoy the activities and facilities and stay in our hotels. They can even shop here and ship their purchases anywhere in the world without having to carry them, courtesy of the DeliverEase program.”
Herdman concludes, “Finally, what distinguishes EIA is our ability to maintain excellent on-time performance for our airline partners, all year round. In fact, EIA’s airside operations team was awarded the coveted Balchen/Post Award for excellence in snow and ice control at the 53rd Annual International Aviation Snow Symposium this year. This is the second time that EIA has received the award, with the first award being in 2012.”
EIA has experienced many exciting changes and has many more to come as the airport and property around it continue to deliver exceptional service to locals and tourists for years to come.