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Closing the Airport

Current Status

  • November 30, 2013, the City Centre Airport was permanently closed at 4:49pm.
  • September 18, 2013, Council directed city administration to request that the Edmonton Regional Airports Authority take the necessary steps for full closure of the City Centre Airport.
  • June 19, 2013, Council voted to expropriate interests in airport lands. In keeping with their vision to redevelop the City Centre Airport site, Council passed a motion approving the expropriation of interests in these lands. The City proceeded with steps as outlined by the Expropriation Act, including the registration of a Certificate of Approval of Expropriation.
  • March 15, 2013, Alberta Health Services transferred medevac operations to the Edmonton International Airport.
  • February 20, 2013, Council voted to commence expropriation of all property interests in these lands. Council voted to abandon the previous expropriation as procedural difficulties beyond the City's control meant the City couldn't meet requirements set out in the Expropriation Act. The City is now in negotiation with the affected parties.
  • May 16, 2012, Council approved the City Centre Area Redevelopment Plan.
  • July 8, 2009, City Council voted to implement a phased closure of the City Centre Airport, for the purpose of redeveloping the site.

Background on the decision

Status quo was not an option:

  • One runway required up to $10 million in capital upgrades to remain operational.
  • Other upgrades were estimated to be $35 million over the next five-10 years.
  • Revisiting the cap on passenger traffic would have incurred significant legal costs.

Council considered the potential benefits of redeveloping the land into a world-leading, mixed-use, sustainable development:

  • Curbs urban sprawl and creates a family-focused community within minutes of downtown Edmonton.
  • Creates an environmentally sensitive community where people can walk to work, amenities, parks, recreation and services.
  • Eliminates height restrictions on development in the downtown core.
  • Increases revenue to the City over the long term, reducing the reliance on taxes.

On June 24, 2009, Council received the ECCA Lands Impact Assessment Results report, along with several reports done by consultants:

After three days of public hearings, Council then had administration and the consultants respond to their follow-up questions:

Read the questions and responses. (The document is called Attachment 9 because it becomes the final attachment to the June 24, 2009 report.)

City Council then voted in July 2009 to implement a phased closure of the City Centre Airport.

Milestones leading to the decision

October 2008 Executive Committee receives a “road map” of possible next steps and a summary of issues related to the airport lands that are within the City’s authority.
September 2008 Council’s Executive Committee holds a non-statutory public hearing for members of the public commenting on issues related to the City Centre Airport.
Executive Committee also receives a report detailing how issues would be dealt with if the airport closed.
June 2008 Council presents the report summarizing land use potential and limitations, financial issues related to the airport, and impact on development and City tax revenue in and around the airport.
January 2008 Council asks administration to prepare a report on the possibilities and challenges with the City-owned land leased to Edmonton Airports for the City Centre Airport operations.
1995 A public vote supports moving scheduled air service to the Edmonton International Airport. General aviation continues at the City Centre Airport.

For More Information

Blatchford Project Office

Email blatchford@edmonton.ca