Fly EIA... In Style!
Thursday, September 20, 2012
Dianne Trenn, VP of EIA Operations and Dorothy Clark pose with the ceremonial cake! Below, the actual cut!
Edmonton International Airport – The floors were polished to their brand new shine, the sun streaming through the high glass walls, while commercial entities had their names in lights, as far as the eye could see, down the terminal’s new hall.
On this Saturday September 15th, years of planning, inspired vision and construction came to fruition when an admiring group of enthusiastic visitors were welcomed into the newly expanded Edmonton International Airport (EIA). The media was there ‘en force’, and sparkling spots of green and gold were in fact athletic members of the Eskimos Cheer Team, and the Oilers’ Octane Cheerleaders in their red and blue outfits. The buzz was about the new Domestic-International passenger lounge, the new holdrooms and sports-themed baggage carousels.
Reg Milley, president of the International Airport, was a congenial host who introduced several dignitaries who contributed to the vision and implementation of a million details leading to this concept of impressive architecture and the sharing of a strong sports theme displayed throughout the new terminal area. New carousels each bore a theme that represented the three sports heralding the City of Champions: the Oilers, the Eskimos and the Oil Kings. This Airport president, 8 years in his position, was an enthusiastic promoter of all that is wonderful and new at the EIA. Four years after construction began, a total of 54 retailers now provide shopping and dining options to the anticipated 10 million passengers that will travel through EIA, the Edmonton International Airport by 2020: 1,000 jobs were created through this expansion.
Mr Milley graciously agreed to disclose one technology that will enhance the convenience and travel satisfaction at EIA: pre-screened bags flying to US destinations, being placed on connecting flights will not be subjected to a US inspection, reducing the need for lengthy layovers. He also shared that yes, construction will now slow down, however a new office tower and a NAV Canada Centre are being built and scheduled to open in December 2012, while a new hotel will open its doors in 2014.
Representing the CBSA’s Prairie Region, Bill Axten offered his admiration and best wishes to the EIA’s Vision team and shared that it was a complex journey that led the Canadian Border Security Agency to this milestone, having cautiously analyzed and planned every detail of a “safe experience” for the millions of travelers who use this airport every year. Representatives of the three major sports groups also offered their enthusiastic and sincere best wishes. Near the impressive Eskimos Carousel where 13 Grey Cups were proudly displayed along with football figures stood larger-than-life, three Eskimos alumni were joined by a handful of cheerful Cheerleaders for a brief and fun photo opp.
In this secure pre-flight new terminal, an impressive and wide hallway hosts a couple dozen new retailers: between an iStore, to a new elegant Tax-free Store to a Cookies by George location, there are numerous fine dining destinations: Sorrentino’s Café, under the supervision of a congenial ‘heir apparent’ Carmelo Rago Jr., boasted an ultra-modern and European-inspired décor and offered cappuccino, espresso and samplings of awesome-smelling pasta dishes to its guests, while the Belgium Beer Café offered a splendid display of menu items and promoted their menu of imported beers (Delirium was a golden ale, and the fruit beer had an attractive red tint). Interestingly, dainty ceramic floor tiles in this establishment were salvaged from a centuries-old Belgium church, and many décor accents were brought in from the ‘old country’. Cale Inglis, manager of the Belgium Beer Café shares that his team is looking forward to making a lasting impression on local and global travelers as this European eatery is new to North America: he is grateful for the quality of their new team members who submitted themselves to the rigorous security screening required for employment in a secured airport area.
Diane Trenn, Vice-president of EIA Operations and a long-time Leduc volunteer (30 years !), was happy to describe the impressive Living Wall: made of 8,000 live plants –and 32 varieties-, fed by a hydroponic system and based on the Group of Seven art, it is a sight to behold! This new terminal will impress our Canadian and global visitors, and will display the pride we have in our Sports, Culture and Industry. It will magnify the ‘coming home’ experience for our regional travelers, while enhancing services that were established by a caring, detail-focused and visionary Airport administration. The word is out: more than ever, when you fly with EIA, you will do so... in style!