Edmonton International Airport

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Edmonton International Airport
YEG Logo2.svg
Edmonton International Airport.jpg
Airport type Public
Owner Transport Canada
Operator Edmonton Airports
Serves Edmonton Capital Region, Alberta
Location Leduc County, near Leduc, Alberta
Hub for
Focus city for
Time zone MST (UTC−07:00)
 • Summer (DST) MDT (UTC−06:00)
Elevation AMSL 2,373 ft / 723 m
Coordinates 53°18′36″N 113°34′46″W / 53.31000°N 113.57944°W / 53.31000; -113.57944Coordinates: 53°18′36″N 113°34′46″W / 53.31000°N 113.57944°W / 53.31000; -113.57944
Website www.flyeia.com
CYEG is located in Alberta
Location within Alberta
Direction Length Surface
ft m
02/20 10,995 3,351 Asphalt
12/30 10,200 3,109 Asphalt
Statistics (2016)
Aircraft movements 139,086
Passengers 7,523,864
Sources: Canada Flight Supplement[2]
Environment Canada[3]
Movements from Statistics Canada[4]
Passengers from Edmonton Airports.[5]

Edmonton International Airport (IATA: YEGICAO: CYEG) is the primary air passenger and air cargo facility in the Edmonton region of the Canadian province of Alberta. The airport offers scheduled non-stop flights to major cities in Canada, the United States, Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America and Europe.

It is a hub facility for Northern Alberta and Northern Canada. It is Canada's largest major airport by total land area,[6][7] the 5th busiest airport by passenger traffic and 9th busiest by aircraft movements.[4][5] Operated by Edmonton Airports and located 26 kilometres (16 mi) south southwest[2] of downtown Edmonton in Leduc County on highway 2 opposite of the city of Leduc. It served 7,523,864 passengers in 2016.[5]


Airside Terminal, 1979

Transport Canada selected the current site for Edmonton International Airport and purchased over 7,000 acres (28 km2) of land. When the airport opened on November 15, 1960,[8] its first terminal was an arch hangar. Today, it is in use by Canadian North. In 1963, a passenger terminal, built in the international style, was opened. It remains in use as the North Terminal. Artwork, fired by Alberta Natural Gas, adorned the departures area exterior. A large mural, commissioned by the Canadian government in 1963 for CAD$18,000 titled "Bush Pilot in Northern Sky" by Jack Shadbolt, remains to this day. An appraisal in 2005 indicated that the mural was worth $750,000, and a restoration of the mural was undertaken in 2007.

During the 1970s, the airport experienced a rapid growth in traffic as the city of Edmonton grew, and served approximately 2 million passengers by 1980. However, from the early 1980s until 1995, traffic declined. This decline was attributed to the continued usage of Edmonton City Centre Airport as well as to a slowing economy. Edmonton City Centre did not have the facilities to accept large wide bodied long haul aircraft, thus airlines used City Centre to fly short-haul flights to hubs in other cities where connections to many locations were available.

Growth returned in 1995. In a municipal plebiscite in that year, 77% of voting Edmontonians voted to consolidate all scheduled jet passenger service at Edmonton International Airport.[9]

In 1998, the airport underwent a $282 million "1998–2005 Redevelopment Project".[10] The three-phase project included the construction of a south terminal and central hall concept, a commuter facility, doubling of the apron, and a multi-storey parkade. This redevelopment project expanded the passenger capacity to 5.5 million.

By the time the expansion project was completed in 2005, continued passenger growth triggered planning for another expansion.[11] A new 107,000-square-foot control and office tower was added in 2009.[12]

Terminal expansion in January 2010
Airport Control Tower

Further expansion was completed in 2013. Expansions have increased terminal capacity, improved the passenger experience through introduction of travelators, lounges, and retail, increased the number of gates available for aircraft and improved apron capacity among other improvements. Functional highlights include seven new passenger gates, 14 boarding bridges, six new elevators and moving walkways, over 100 security doors, and advanced baggage handling and scanning systems. Incremental improvements like improving de-icing capacity and implementing common use systems for airlines were also delivered. The Renaissance Hotel and the iconic snow-drift inspired control and office tower are recent major additions to the airport landscape.

In 2016, the Edmonton International Airport expected to begin twinning Highway 19, a project expected to be completed by 2018. The realignment of the highway will allow for the airport to finalize engineering and begin construction on the airport's third runway - runway 11/29. Runway 11/29, upon completion, is planned to be 3,530 m (11,580 ft) long.[13] In August 2016, the Government of Alberta announced $90 million in funding to begin twinning Highway 19 and that it has protected the area needed for the third runway.[14] Edmonton International Airport also plans to extend the existing Runway 12/30 by one-third its current length from 3,100 m (10,200 ft) to 4,030 m (13,220 ft) to increase accessibility and capacity tied to Port Alberta Developments/Intercontinental routes.[15]

Airline service[edit]

WestJet aircraft at Edmonton International Airport, as seen from the North Terminal

EIA is one of WestJet's largest focus cities: the airline flies to 28 destinations with 46 daily departures, non-stop, from Edmonton. WestJet is the largest carrier at Edmonton International Airport, holding more than 50% of the market share.[16][17]

Canadian North and First Air connect their northern networks through Edmonton.[18][19]

Fort McMurray evacuation[edit]

The Edmonton International Airport played a major role during the 2016 Fort McMurray Wildfire, operating as hubs for aerial firefighting and Medevac. The Airport also became a way-station and temporary shelter for thousands of Fort McMurray evacuees. The Emergency Operations Centre in the airport ran for 112 hours, organizing the arrival and departure of hundreds of aircraft — the longest in the EIA’s history.

During the month of May, the airport saw more than 300 additional daily flights on top of their regularly scheduled service. The airport normally handled some 400 aircraft per day, but the evacuation caused airport officials to handle more than 700 aircraft daily. According to the airport's operational manager, most aircraft were "wingtip to wingtip." This caused delays to regular airline service by 10 to 20 minutes, and overall waiting times to increase by 10–15 minutes.[20]


Passenger Facilities[edit]

EIA offers US Border Pre-clearance facilities.[21] Passengers from domestic flights connecting in Edmonton to a US destination use EIA's Quick Connect, which relieves passengers from having to claim and recheck baggage during the connection, and the passenger just has to clear security and US Customs and Border Protection before proceeding to their departure gate.

The four-star Renaissance Edmonton Airport Hotel is attached to the terminal.[22]

Airline Lounges[edit]

EIA offers an Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge and two Plaza Premium lounges.[23][24]

Aircraft Facilities[edit]

EIA can handle aircraft designated as Code F by the ICAO (the Boeing 747-8 and the Airbus A380), and has been approved by airline as a diversion airport for the A380. They can be accommodated at gates 78, 80, 82 or 84 in the US departures area if the adjacent gates are not in use.[25] Such a diversion has happened at least twice thus far.[26]

Air-cargo Facilities[edit]

In January 2015, Edmonton-based trucking company Roseneau Transport, unveiled its plan to open a new 210,000 square feet (20,000 m2) distribution centre and warehouse at the airport in November 2015. The facility, custom-built by Panattoni Development Company, will be a hub between the company’s ground cargo and its new venture of air freight and will give Western Canadian shippers the ability to send cargo to Edmonton that can be put on a plane to any destination within 24-hours.[27] The facility was completed by November 2016 and officially opened on December 6th 2016.[28]

On Septemver 7th 2017, the Alberta Motor Transit Association officially broke ground on a new trucker training facility in the Northeast section of the airport. The 20,000 square feet (1,900 m2) facility will be the first of its kind in Western Canada. It will include a 2 hectares (4.9 acres) test track, as well as a driving simulator.[29]

On June 22nd 2016, Aeroterm broke ground on a new 50,000 square feet (4,600 m2) multi-use distribution facility. Upon completion in 2017, the facility's major tenants include Gate Gourmet, Airport Terminal Services (ATS) and Swissport.[30][31] Three identical facilities, each 50,000 square feet (4,600 m2) in area, have also been approved for construction and will be parallel to Aeroterm's facility.

In 2015, the Airport began planning for and designing a much larger project on the future of 900 hectares (2,200 acres) of land south west of the main terminal. In 2017, Myron Keehn, the airport's vice-president of commercial development, stated that the southwest site will be primarliy for large-format cargo, distribution and logistics buildings, "including warehouses that are at least 55,000 square metres (590,000 sq ft) to 90,000 square metres (970,000 sq ft) in size."[32]

Additional air cargo expansion at the airport includes:

  • Cargojet upgauged its existing Edmonton service from a Boeing 757-F to a wide-body Boeing 767-300, increasing both payload and volume for businesses to ship more, heavier, larger goods.
  • DHL Express launched a new commercial wide-body route to Edmonton that arrives earlier and leaves later, providing regional business with increased access to express shipping.
  • Braden-Bury Expediting (BBE) is now located in the same building as Canada Border Services Agency; with 40,000 square feet of warehouse space and convenient access to customs processing, which will help expedite the flow of goods to and from the Edmonton region.
  • EIA has expanded Cargo Apron Seven to accommodate two additional code F aircraft (the largest variant). Additional operating and storage areas have been incorporated, including aircraft nose tethers.
  • EIA upgraded its ground handling equipment with a new, 2014 Commander 60 main deck loader, eight 20-foot dollies and a 20-foot drive-over scale; the airport can, and regularly does, handle the world’s largest cargo aircraft - The Antonov An-225 & Boeing 747-8[33]

Air Ambulance Services[edit]

The airport is home to a purpose built facility on its southern edge that is shared by Alberta Health Services fixed-wing air ambulance operations, as well as one of three bases in the province for STARS helicopter air ambulance.

Emergency and policing[edit]

Edmonton International Airport Emergency Response Services provides fire services from one station with five tenders/pumpers and additional assistance from the Leduc County Fire Services with an additional pumper on site.

Policing is provided by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police's Airport Detachment.

Day to Day security is provided by Garda.

Regional air traffic control[edit]

The Edmonton Area Control Centre (ICAO: CZEG) operated by Nav Canada is located at the airport. It is responsible for all aircraft movements over Alberta (including Calgary) and most of northern Canada, including the high Arctic.

Airline Operational Facilities[edit]

Northern carrier Canadian North maintains its operations facilities at EIA.[34][35]


EIA has a catchment area encompassing Central and Northern Alberta, northern British Columbia, and Yukon and the Northwest Territories. Total catchment area is 1.8 million residents.[36]

EIA is located within the Edmonton Capital Region, close to the towns of Devon and Beaumont, the city of Leduc, and adjacent to the Nisku industrial park. It is immediately west of the Queen Elizabeth II Highway, south of Highway 19, and 1.6 km (0.99 mi) north of Highway 39. Within this immediate radius of the terminal there are many full-service hotels and offsite parking lots complete with terminal shuttle service to offer a full range of services to the travelling public.[37][38][39][40]

Business passenger traffic is generated by a regional banking and financial cluster and major pension and wealth fund managers, provincial government operations, oilfield service businesses, a major Canadian research university (the University of Alberta), petrochemical, biotechnology, and real estate operations located in Edmonton and area.[41]

Outbound leisure passenger traffic is driven by high average disposable income in Edmonton.[42] Inbound leisure passenger traffic is driven by major tourist destinations in Edmonton such as West Edmonton Mall, the Edmonton Fringe Festival and nearby Jasper National Park.

Airlines and destinations[edit]


Edmonton International Airport provides scheduled non-stop flights to 52 destinations.[when?][43] It serves as the hub for domestic carrier Flair Airlines.[44]

Airlines Destinations
Air Canada Montréal–Trudeau, Ottawa, Toronto–Pearson, Vancouver
Air Canada Express Calgary, Fort McMurray, Grande Prairie, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Yellowknife
Seasonal: Vancouver
Air North Calgary, Whitehorse
Air Transat Seasonal: Cancún, Huatulco (begins December 18, 2017),[45] Puerto Vallarta, Punta Cana, Varadero1
Air Transat
operated by Flair Airlines
Alaska Airlines
operated by Horizon Air
American Eagle Seasonal: Phoenix–Sky Harbor
Canadian North Yellowknife
Charter: Fort MacKay
Central Mountain Air Calgary, Fort St. John, High Level, Prince George[47]
Delta Air Lines Seasonal: Minneapolis/St. Paul
Delta Connection Minneapolis/St. Paul, Seattle/Tacoma
First Air Yellowknife
Flair Airlines Abbotsford, Hamilton (ON), Kelowna (begins December 15, 2017), Toronto-Pearson (begins December 15, 2017), Vancouver (begins December 15, 2017),[48] Winnipeg
Icelandair Seasonal: Reykjavík–Keflavik
Integra Air Lethbridge, Medicine Hat
KLM Amsterdam
Northern Air Peace River
Northwestern Air Fort McMurray, Fort Smith, Hay River, High Level
Sunwing Airlines Montego Bay, Puerto Vallarta, Varadero
Seasonal: Cancún, Cayo Coco, Freeport, Huatulco, Ixtapa–Zihuatanejo, Liberia, Manzanillo, Mazatlán, Punta Cana, San José del Cabo, Santa Clara
United Airlines Houston–Intercontinental
Seasonal: Denver
United Express Denver
WestJet Abbotsford, Calgary, Comox, Fort McMurray, Halifax, Hamilton (ON), Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Ottawa, Toronto–Pearson, Vancouver, Victoria, Winnipeg
Seasonal: Cancún, Huatulco (begins November 2, 2017),[49] Kahului, London–Gatwick, Mazatlan, Montréal–Trudeau, Orlando, Palm Springs, Phoenix/Mesa, Phoenix–Sky Harbor, Puerto Vallarta, San José del Cabo, Yellowknife
Charter: Fort MacKay[50]
WestJet Encore Calgary, Fort McMurray, Grande Prairie, Kelowna, Regina, Saskatoon, Vancouver
Seasonal: Abbotsford, Comox, Victoria, Yellowknife
Private Charter: Fort MacKay[51]
  • ^1 : This flight makes a stop between Edmonton and the listed destination. However, the airline does not transport passengers between Edmonton and intermediate stop.


Expansion of the domestic and international terminal
The check-in area of the South Terminal
The Departures Lounge of the South Terminal, as seen from the Observation Deck in Central Hall
Airlines Destinations
Air China Cargo Chicago–O'Hare, Dallas-Fort Worth[52], Shanghai–Pudong, Tianjin
DHL Aviation
operated by Southern Air
Calgary, Cincinnati
FedEx Express
operated by Morningstar Air Express
Memphis, Toronto, Montreal
FedEx Feeder
operated by Morningstar Air Express
Nippon Cargo Airlines
operated by Atlas Air
Chicago–O'Hare, Tokyo-Narita[53]
Purolator Courier
operated by Cargojet Airways
Hamilton, Winnipeg, Calgary, Vancouver, Montreal

In addition, Air Bridge Cargo, Korean Air Cargo, Etihad Cargo, Lufthansa Cargo and Volga Dneper fly multiple charters to Edmonton year round.[54]


The following airlines operate out of private facilities:


Top destinations[edit]

Busiest international routes from YEG (2013)[55][56][57]
Rank Airport Passengers Carriers
1 Phoenix–Sky Harbor 195,369 US Airways, WestJet
2 Las Vegas 182,303 WestJet
3 Houston–Intercontinental 150,608 United
4 Seattle/Tacoma 138,775 Alaska
5 Denver 109,670 United
6 Minneapolis/St. Paul 105,995 Delta
7 Cancun 96,003 Air Transat, Sunwing, WestJet
8 London–Heathrow 93,564 Air Canada
9 Los Angeles 88,503 WestJet
10 Chicago–O'Hare 82,321 United

Annual traffic[edit]

Annual passenger traffic (enplaned + deplaned) at YEG, 1997 through 2016[58]
Year Passengers  % Change Year Passengers  % Change Year Passengers  % Change
2010 6,089,099 Decrease -0.01% 2000 3,843,321 Increase 3.8%
2009 6,090,213 Decrease -5.3% 1999 3,700,016 Decrease -2.4%
2008 6,437,334 Increase 6.1% 1998 3,791,574 Increase 1.9%
2007 6,064,610 Increase 16.3% 1997 3,720,623 Steady
2016 7,523,864 Decrease -5.7% 2006 5,213,992 Increase 15.5%
2015 7,981,074 Decrease -3.1% 2005 4,511,452 Increase 10.5%
2014 8,240,161 Increase 7.4% 2004 4,081,565 Increase 5.1%
2013 7,697,995 Increase 15.2% 2003 3,882,497 Increase 2.8%
2012 6,676,857 Increase 6.3% 2002 3,773,800 Decrease -4.2%
2011 6,277,137 Increase 3.0% 2001 3,940,416 Increase 2.5%


Public transit[edit]

Edmonton Transit System (ETS) provides express service between the Edmonton International Airport and the Century Park LRT Station, facilitating connections to the region's wider transit system. Route 747 runs between 4:10 a.m. and midnight every 30 minutes most times of the day. A one-way fare is C$5.00.[59][60]

Leduc Transit's Route 3 provides service between the airport and the city of Leduc.[61]

Airport shuttle[edit]

The SkyShuttle services the airport and selected stops in the city of Edmonton typically adjacent to major hotels. This service must be pre-booked by phone or online. The fare for this route is C$18.00 one way per adult as of 2012.[62]


The airport is located adjacent to the Queen Elizabeth II Highway south of Edmonton.

Ground transportation to other cities[edit]

Operating conditions[edit]


The weather station has been recording since 1961, at an elevation of 723 metres (2,372 ft) at 53°19′N 113°35′W / 53.317°N 113.583°W / 53.317; -113.583 (Edmonton International Airport Weather Station #3012205).[66] The Airport sees 77 days with rainfall, and 53 days with snowfall; in total the airport averages 446.1 millimetres (17.56 in) of precipitation per year. Daily average temperatures for the year are 2.6 °C (36.7 °F), and vary from 16.2 °C (61.2 °F) in July to −12.1 °C (10.2 °F) in January.[67] Daily maximums are 22.8 °C (73.0 °F) in July, and −6.3 °C (20.7 °F) in January.[67] The wind is predominantly from the South, with an average speed of 12.2 kilometres per hour (7.6 mph).[67] 3.2 days are at or above 30.0 °C (86.0 °F), and 10.1 are at or below −30.0 °C (−22.0 °F) per year.[67] Humidity stays steady through the year, from 79.3% at 06:00, to 56.3% at 15:00. 61.2 hours a year have visibility less than 1 kilometre (0.62 mi), and 8133.1 hours with more than 9 kilometres (5.6 mi) visibility. The airport receives 2310.1 hours of sunshine annually.[67]


Extremes for the airport are; A record high of 35.6 °C (96.1 °F) on August 18, 2008,[68] and record low of −48.3 °C (−54.9 °F) on January 26, 1972.[67][69] The highest humidex reading was 38.7 on August 2, 1965, and the lowest wind chill at −61.0 °C (−77.8 °F) on January 26, 1972.[67] The maximum hourly speed record is 87 kilometres per hour (54 mph) on October 1, 1965,[70] and the strongest gust was 146 kilometres per hour (91 mph) on the same day.[67]

Appearances in media[edit]

On October 5th 2016, the History Channel began airing a new series that revolves around the Edmonton International Airport, Airport: Below Zero. The show follows the airport's day-to-day operations and how the staff are able to keep the airport running smoothly, even during the extreme winter weather.[71]

Accidents and incidents[edit]

  • On 2 January 1973, a Boeing 707-321C CF-PWZ of Pacific Western Airlines. A cargo flight of 86 cattle from Toronto, Ontario with five crew-members on board, was on approach to runway 30, visibility was poor with blowing snow, and turbulence. It struck the ground 3,137 metres (3,431 yd) short of runway 30.[72] Hitting trees, power-lines and a gravel ridge then erupted into fire. All five of the crew-members were killed in the crash including all cattle. The aircraft was damaged beyond economic repair.[73][74] No investigation was done so the crash cause is still unidentified.[73]
  • On 6 November 2014, a Bombardier DHC-8-402 C-GGBF of Air Canada Express. A passenger flight from Calgary to Grande Prairie with 71 passengers and three crew-members, During take off the third tire of the main landing gear burst.[75] This caused a loud bang noise inside the plane.[76] Head winds prevented landing back in Calgary, so it was diverted to Edmonton International Airport.[77] During the landing the right main landing gear collapsed. The propellers on the right side of plane struck the ground and broke, one of the blades went through the cabin wall injuring three passengers.[75]

Commercial non-aviation operations[edit]

Premium Outlet Collection[edit]

In May 2015, an official groundbreaking ceremony was held for a new premium outlet mall by developer Ivanhoe Cambridge, which is to be located at the Edmonton International Airport. In early 2016, Ivanhoe Cambridge announced that Simon Property Group would partner with them in the construction, development and leasing of the mall, officially named Premium Outlet Collection - Edmonton International Airport.[78] Construction officially began in Spring 2016 on the more than 580,000 sq ft (54,000 m2) shopping mall. The mall will feature over 100 outlet stores, with many of them making their Canadian debut. As of April 2017, Premium Outlet Collection - EIA is expected to be completed by May 2018.[79]

Office and hotel park[edit]

Adjacent to the Edmonton Premium Outlets will be office buildings and hotels, located on the Queen Elizabeth II Highway at Airport Road.

In 2016, Aurora Sky began building the world's largest and most advanced marijuana production facility in the world. The facility, which is expected to be completed by 2018, will be over 75,000 m2 (810,000 sq ft) in area and produce more than 100,000 kg (220,000 lb) of cannabis annually.[80]


 This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website http://www.afhra.af.mil/.

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External links[edit]