Last week I had the opportunity (with a few other local bloggers) to tour the General Aviation Services at the Edmonton International Airport (EIA). As with the ECCA tour, Traci Bednard, VP of Communications at Edmonton Airports, was our guide. We ran into some challenges getting a vehicle to take us to Apron 2, but we eventually made it. Here’s what we saw.
This is what most people think of when they think about EIA. The number of passengers has grown significantly since scheduled service was consolidated at EIA in 1996. EIA now handles roughly 6 million passengers each year, and is in the midst of major expansion, known as Expansion 2012.
Apron 2, on the north side of the airport near by runway 02/20, is where a significant amount of general aviation (GA) activity takes place. Approximately 380,000 landed seats are served through Apron 2 each year. Edmonton Airports has committed just under $20 million for GA facilities & support at EIA this year.
There are currently two Fixed Base Operators (FBO) at Apron 2 – Executive Flight Centre and Shell Aerocentre (Shell also operates at ECCA). FBOs provide a variety of services, such as aircraft maintenance, fueling, passenger services, cargo services, etc. They operate hangars, passenger lounges, executive lounges, and customer parking. Shuttle services are available to/from the main terminal, enabling passengers to connect with scheduled service.
We got to see one of the Executive Flight Centre’s facilities. The VIP lounge pictured above serves the Edmonton Oilers, Edmonton Eskimos, and many others. One of the most recent VIPs to use it was Kevin Costner. Oilers players are provided with valet service, so they can drive up and get on the plane (and when they return, their vehicles are ready to go). The Executive Flight Centre will honor almost any request, including catering, ground transportation, etc. The Executive Flight Centre also provides ample hangar space, and can even accommodate a Global Express.
A number of GA charter companies operate at Apron 2, including Alta Flights, Flight Tech Aviation, North Cariboo Air, and Sunwest Aviation. Other users include the military, and private operators such as Cathton Aviation.
EIA is the primary airport serving the north. At EIA, 70% of northern departures are scheduled service, 18% are non-scheduled, and 12% provide oil sands related crew changes. As many as 1200 CNRL Horizon workers per day pass through Apron 2. Other northern projects that rely on EIA include the Mackenzie Gas Project, Diavik Diamond Mines, and Athabasca Oil Sands.
EIA could easily accommodate the GA activity that currently takes place at ECCA. There are many large hangars sitting empty, such as the old Spar hangar, pictured above. It offers 120,000 square feet of hangar space, with an additional 35,000 square feet of office space attached. Thanks to recent investments that Edmonton Airports has made at Apron 2, there is also plenty of space available for customers who want something different to custom-build.
Thanks to Traci and Edmonton Airports for the tour. You can see the rest of my photos here.
7 thoughts on “Photo Tour of Apron 2 at the Edmonton International Airport”
Spar Hangar (i worked there) is useless/obsolete and will be demolished in 3 years. see eia website, corporate for their plans, apron 2 is extremely congested in winter. I worked there and the amount of plane traffic is an accident waiting to happen. you cannot run medevac out of there as the ground movement of ambulances etc could not be accomodated.
Not sure where you got your information Peter, but on the tour the Spar hangar was described as “state of the art”. I remember they mentioned that it features a foam sprinkler system. And they said nothing of demolition. Do you have a source?
I’m also not sure what you mean by the congestion. Apron 2 easily handles the current amount of traffic. It’s also worth mentioning that some of the traffic at ECCA is expected to move to Villeneuve, where lots of flight training and other GA activity already takes place.
Ground ambulances could be accommodated, and in fact, Edmonton Airports has been in talks with Alberta Health Services and others to construct an integrated medical facility at EIA.
I challenge you to go to villeneuve. there is nothing there. no stores, gas stations, restaurants. who would go there and set up business when there is very little infrastructure there. You go and movew your business there and see if you can survive. as far as the spar hangar you obviously got the tour, the overhead heaters 3 of the 4 have cracked heat exchangers, the size and layout of the hangar is condusive to very large aircraft (built for Wardair’s 747) not small commuter and medevac aircraft. again I worked in that facility for 10 years. as for the airport plans, http://corporate.flyeia.com/media/7583/224.pdf
last time I checked, a hangar at the end of a runway is probably not a good thing. ps I have been in aviation for over 20 years and know what i am talking about.
I have asked to visit Villeneuve, and I’ll blog about that after I’ve been. Thanks for the comments.
Mack, SPAR had a building on the airfield that was used as a paint shop / paint facility. Do you happen to know if it has been taken over by another company following SPAR closure? Or is it still vacant? Thanks.
“EIA could easily accommodate the traffic ECCA has.”
That is true so long as the incoming airlines are happy to be be taking the odd holding pattern to accommodate a medevac priority. In reality a clearance to hold issued by controllers is usually not looked in favour on by pilots,passengers, or airline managers.
The other thing you may not realize is much general aviation activity at ECCA wants convenient access to the downtown or north side of the Edmonton area. It simply won’t go to the EIA at Leduc. That is why the City Center Airport is valuable to Edmonton if it wants an strong aviation sector.
Mack;is your love for the EIA a stand alone true love or is it built on being another naysayer against the ECCA. We at the ECCA have nothing against the EIA except its directors desire to ruin us. Why can’t we all work and thrive together.
Hi i enjoyed this article. The spar hangar is now occupied by canadian north.