Edmonton City Centre Airport Debate: Resources

We’re down to the final stages of the City Centre Airport review process. If you haven’t taken the time to educate yourself on the issue, the time is now.

Here are the reports that were released last week:

  • Airport Legal Review and Analysis (Attachment 1 in this PDF)
  • Airport Lands Net Revenue Review (Attachment 3 in this PDF)
  • The Airport Lands Impact Assessment Final Report (PDF)
  • The Medevac Transport Report (PDF)
  • The Historical Impact Assessment Report (PDF)
  • The Economic Impact Analysis (PDF)
  • The Public Involvement Plan Results (PDF)

The Alberta Enterprise Group (AEG) posted a response to the reports here.

The big report is the Airport Lands Impact Assessment, at 299 pages. Here’s a Wordle of that report:

Here are some highlights from the various report conclusions:

  • “The planning of ambulance services is dependent on many local factors such as availability of resources, both financial and personnel; regional density of populations; road condition and geographic variations; and so forth. Clinically, outcomes for trauma and medical patients are mainly impacted by the services available rather than by type of transport.”
  • “The City Centre Airport ranks with the Rossdale site and the provincial government precinct as among the three most significant historical locations in the City of Edmonton. As such everything possible should be done to acknowledge that fact through commemorative and interpretive initiatives.”
  • “Redevelopment of the ECCA, as defined in the Demonstration Plan, would result in the equivalent of a net tax saving to the City of Edmonton. The value of redeveloping the ECCA Lands is, in aggregate, a net benefit to the City of Edmonton’s financial position.”
  • “Based on the review completed, the redevelopment of the ECCA Lands into a new residential and employment based neighbourhood represents a significant opportunity for the City to achieve established long term visions regarding sustainable development and a more compact urban form. The redevelopment of the ECCA Lands could allow for the development of a new urban community with transit as its centrepiece.”

There will be a public hearing on Wednesday (and Thursday/Friday if necessary):

What: Public Hearing on the City Centre Airport (Agenda in Word)
When: Wednesday, June 24, 2009 from 9:30am to 5:30pm
Where: City Hall
Request to Speak: Fill out this form to speak.

The next step is for any recommendations to be reviewed by Council on July 10, 2009. Don’t forget that you can watch or listen to Council and Committee meetings live online.

The City’s portal for the City Centre Airport Review contains a bunch of additional information and links, so be sure to check it out. There’s also some info at the Public Involvement site.

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Here are some social media resources:

Some other stuff to read:

Lorne Gunter wrote a great article in Sunday’s Edmonton Journal: Muni is not ‘my’ airport. For some predictions on Council’s vote, check out Scott McKeen’s piece from yesterday’s Journal. He’s betting that Council will vote to close the airport. Also – you’ve got to look at this photo of Councillor Tony Caterina on the tarmac of the City Centre Airport. And finally, you might find my post (from May) about the ECCA debate on Twitter interesting.

For the latest news, check out #ecca on Twitter Search.

As you’ve perhaps figured out by now, I’m in favor of closing the City Centre Airport. I don’t feel that keeping the status quo is compatible with making Edmonton a more sustainable, vibrant city, and moving passenger service back to the muni isn’t possible. There is an opportunity to redevelop the lands however, and I think the City should act on that now before the opportunity passes us by.

Let’s close the City Centre Airport and move on.

UPDATE: Edmonton Airports has compiled a number of briefing notes related to the airport for presentation at the public hearings. (PDF)

  • RWM

    Couldn’t agree more. Let’s honor the plebiscite from the ’90’s, move on, and work to make the redevelopment world-class and as forward-thinking as we can. An homage to the Blatchford Field in the design would be a nice touch though.

  • Erin

    Re: Photo….Tony Caterina or Tony Soprano???

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  • Jenn


    Do you actually know what the result of the plebiscite was. No where did it say Edmonton was to close the airport and redevelop the land

  • The question asked was: “Do you direct City Council to repeal “The Edmonton Municipal Airport referendum bylaw” (No. 10,205)? That bylaw requires the City to operate the Municipal Airport and promote that airport’s air passenger service.”

    So a YES vote means scheduled traffic would be moved to the International.


  • RWM

    Thanks, Mack. I was afraid I was going to have to pull a musty copy of the EJ out of EPL archives to get that info. Viva Internet!

    I don’t know if people realize, but before the consolidation to EIA, the air traffic volume out of Edmonton was lower than Winnipeg. It is now solidly higher (but admittedly still a far cry from Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal and Calgary).

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  • Norm Madson

    Closing the airport will be yet another ill thought exerscise. When will the surrounding streets be upgraded to handle the extra thirty some thousand people that will be moving into the area? Perhaps that should be completed FIRST beforw the new construction begins, but living in Edmonton as usual ti will be done backwards. Are there even plans to develop a proper freeway system to handle the traffic. This project is only to benifit developers and to cause hardship for the surrounding area. I suggest it is only greed that will force the airport closure.