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DAVEinEDMONTON Jul 5, 2008 4:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by northwest2k (Post 3654115)
YVR has made it quite clear that international flights (mainly asia) and the international terminal are the first priority. It's pretty shameful. domestic passengers can go to hell for all they care

YVR has the nicest airport IMO despite the apparent shortcomings in the domestic side of the terminal...one nice feature that was not listed on the first post is the elaborate historical displays located in the upper gangway of the international terminal. The displays form part of the walkway as you enter the airport off the planes and head to customs and passport control. The only problem is that I am not sure that a lot of people are willing to stop and spend huge amounts of time reading about BC's history after getting off a long international flight. After coming back from San Francisco two weeks ago, my only thought was of getting through customs as fast as possible and heading home...

YXX - Abbotsford - anyone have any details of their expansion plans? I hav eseen pictures of a new treminal on the walls of the airport but I do not have any details. I use that airport at least once a month and it has to be the nicest for short turnaround times...love being able to get to the airport 30 minutes before the flight knowing you will not have any hassles checking in or at the gate.

YWG - nice pictures of the new JAR terminal but I am not sure about those bubble sky lights...looks very retro 60's to me...

YEG - Edmonton - missing details of a new airport hotel going up which is independent of the 1.1 billion airport expansion

eemy Jul 5, 2008 2:07 PM

Interesting article from the Vancouver Sun related to this:

Quote:

Flying in the face of industry
What's driving the demand for airport expansions across Canada?
Gordon Isfeld and Helen Morris, Canwest News Service
Published: Friday, July 04, 2008

These are turbulent times for air travel.

Profits at the major carriers are being threatened by soaring fuel prices and passengers are being hit by higher fares and surcharges to cover those additional costs.

At the same time, there's a growing awareness - among consumers and corporate leaders - of the environmental impact of carbon emissions and concerns over how to reduce them.
Larry Berg, president and CEO of the Vancouver International Airport Authority, presided in 2007 over the opening of YVR's international terminal expansion that featured a stream running between leafy banks, a 114,000-litre aquarium and a sculpture over the aquarium titled Orca Chief and the Kelp Forest.View Larger Image View Larger Image
Larry Berg, president and CEO of the Vancouver International Airport Authority, presided in 2007 over the opening of YVR's international terminal expansion that featured a stream running between leafy banks, a 114,000-litre aquarium and a sculpture over the aquarium titled Orca Chief and the Kelp Forest.

But take a closer look - on the ground - and you'll see signs of business as usual, and a lot more, as airports across Canada undergo major expansion and improvements.

So, what's driving this apparent demand, who's footing the bills and are growth projections for the industry realistic or driven by "edifice complex," as some critics argue?

Over the next dozen or so years, more than $7 billion will be plowed into airport infrastructure projects - from adding and upgrading amenities, to wholesale reconstruction.

Most of the money for these projects is coming from airport improvement fees collected from passengers and the issuance of bonds by individual airport authorities.

Canadian airports have already invested in excess of $9.5 billion in infrastructure improvements over the past 15 years, according to the Canadian Airports Council (CAC), which represents about 180 airports.

Much of the planning and budgeting for this expansion was done before the burst of the technology bubble and the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in the United States.

Since then, the airline industry has been struggling to regain the six per cent annual growth it had enjoyed for the previous quarter of a century, says Joseph D'Cruz, professor of strategic management at the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Business.

"So, we've lost seven or eight years of growth," he says.

Record-high oil prices only steepened the industry's climb back to recovery. Major airlines have hiked fuel surcharges and added baggage fees to cushion the increased costs. Others have also slashed jobs and services. Last month, Air Canada - the country's largest airline - announced 2,000 staff cuts and a seven-per-cent reduction in its routes, followed this week with a decision by its regional carrier Jazz to eliminate 270 positions and trim its flights by five per cent.

"We're entering a stage where environmental consciousness [about carbon-emitting airplanes] and high prices will deter air travel," says D'Cruz.

All this as another wave of airport expansion is underway.

"The difficulty is that the airlines are on a different time horizon than the airports," says Paul Dempsey, director of the Institute of Air and Space Law at McGill University.

"Airport infrastructure has to be planned and financed years ahead of time in order to meet the capacity demands of the future," he said. "The airlines are faced with immediate problems of profitability and for them, at the moment, this is not the time to expand. The difficulty is that building a terminal or building a runway or adding a runway requires a much longer time horizon."

This dichotomy between supply and demand is not lost on some passengers. At the Winnipeg International Airport, for example, it was not entirely certain why a new terminal was being built in the first place.

"I'm through the airport about six times a year and it never seems to be busy compared to the Toronto airport," said Paul Hurley, a Toronto software sales executive. "I don't really see the demand for a new terminal."

But demand is indeed there, according to the airports, with record passenger levels being recorded across the country.

Daniel-Robert Gooch, the CAC's communications director, says passenger numbers have now "passed the pre-2001 level" and airports are well-positioned to handle the increase in traffic. "We knew this was coming so airports had to invest in their infrastructure programs," he says, adding that between 1991 and 2006 passenger levels have risen by 50 per cent.

To fund these expansion projects, most airport operators have imposed fees on passengers and raised money in the bond markets - this, says D'Cruz, with the "implicit guarantee" of governments because of the operators' status as privatized not-for-profit or "corporatized" entities. As a result, he says, they have "an excessive amount of debt" on their books.

"It's clear that the corporatization of the Canadian airports has led to an exorbitant amount of gold plating," says Dempsey. "They are increasingly beautiful but they are increasingly expensive."

"Building beautiful terminal facilities with lots of stone and waterfalls may facilitate the pleasure of the experience of the people who walk through the airport but it's a cost that has to be incurred ultimately by the airlines and their passengers."

Adds D'Cruz: "This is called the edifice complex."

The flip side, according to the CAC, is that airport authorities are much more than money collectors with big ambitions - they also contribute to the local economies, especially in the area of tourism, which is the main engine that is expected to power growth in the industry.

The CAC says airports also give, not just take - together paying nearly $300 million a year to the federal government in airport rent.
Personally, in the case of the Ottawa Airport, expansion was immediately necessary thanks to years of neglect on the part of Transport Canada (I suspect this was the case of pretty much every airport authority in Canada when they took their airport over). The second expansion was justified on the costs of operating the old terminal. Now they have a nicer airport, with lower annual costs.

1ajs Jul 5, 2008 4:00 PM

winnipeg needs it our curent terminal is max out for compacity but the building still has life left in it shame they couldn't find a new use for it

LotusLand Jul 5, 2008 7:49 PM

YVR is probably the best airport in the country. Having travelled to T dot many times, I must say I found Pearson Int'l to be disappointing. I expected a lot more from the largest airport in Canada. Calgary's is coming along nicely as well. Those projections seem to be on the high side though :haha:

eemy Jul 5, 2008 8:54 PM

I suspect the numbers for Calgary are not anticipated traffic, but the amount of traffic it could handle with the additional runway.

brentwood Jul 5, 2008 11:12 PM

Exactly...finally jeremy brings some sense to the Calgary conspiracy believers. All the other airports listed seem to show projected passenger numbers. The Calgary data for some reason shows capacity numbers. Two very different things. It only makes sense to build infrastruture in excess of demand, you would think.

It does not take a math whiz to figure out that with 13M passengers with the current setup that a new runway that does not conflict with the current one(s) would effectively double capacity. Of course, you would likely need a few more gates as well. Note I said capacity, not necessarily passenger numbers.

mr.x Jul 6, 2008 12:12 AM

^ that's probably it. I believe the new Beijing airport has a capacity of 100 million passengers annually, but it likely won't meet that ever.

Ayreonaut Jul 6, 2008 12:17 AM

Yet they're planning another one already. :sly:

mr.x Jul 6, 2008 12:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ayreonaut (Post 3655336)
Yet they're planning another one already. :sly:

And yet it cost them just $3.5-billion.....which is basically the entire budget for Toronto's new terminal.

Something like what Beijing built here in Canada would probably cost at least $20-billion.

Ayreonaut Jul 6, 2008 12:41 AM

Probably has much to do with labour costs though.

Doug Jul 6, 2008 2:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ayreonaut (Post 3655365)
Probably has much to do with labour costs though.

Is that present or future dollars? $3.5B in 2018 or 2030 dollars is much less than the same amount today or the $4.5B Toronto spent earlier this decade.

KrisYYC Jul 6, 2008 7:01 AM

And with their newest expansion YVR once again totally outclasses the rest of Canada's airports. Kudos

SpongeG Jul 6, 2008 9:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ayreonaut (Post 3654063)
I lol'd at the major complaint for Ottawa. :haha:

so did I :haha: :cheers:

Policy Wonk Jul 6, 2008 11:47 PM

You are looking at pictures of a looming scandal. The private airport authorities across Canada are all loading themselves down with debt and working on the assumption they would be able to recoup the expense through user fees based on traffic estimates that were unreasonable before oil prices began to spiral out of control.

When the airport authorities begin to go bankrupt Ottawa will be forced to bail them out. And for all the money that is being spent little of it is going to improved aviation infrastrucutre, such as improved runway lighting or runway barriers it is all going to making airports look like disneyland.

vanman Jul 7, 2008 6:26 PM

I highly doubt it.

Doug Jul 7, 2008 6:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Policy Wonk (Post 3656555)
You are looking at pictures of a looming scandal. The private airport authorities across Canada are all loading themselves down with debt and working on the assumption they would be able to recoup the expense through user fees based on traffic estimates that were unreasonable before oil prices began to spiral out of control.

When the airport authorities begin to go bankrupt Ottawa will be forced to bail them out. And for all the money that is being spent little of it is going to improved aviation infrastrucutre, such as improved runway lighting or runway barriers it is all going to making airports look like disneyland.

Absolutely. Ottawa won't necessarily need to bail them out though. Existing bondholders will get a haircut. I wonder if those bonds are widely held. If the debt is concentrated amongst say pension funds, watch out.

sync Jul 7, 2008 7:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by KrisYYC (Post 3655742)
And with their newest expansion YVR once again totally outclasses the rest of Canada's airports. Kudos

yup.

YVR is just fantastic.

Coldrsx Jul 7, 2008 8:22 PM

^uh...ever flown domestically out of the sw/s wing?

Nicko999 Jul 7, 2008 8:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mr.x2 (Post 3655324)
^ that's probably it. I believe the new Beijing airport has a capacity of 100 million passengers annually, but it likely won't meet that ever.

You forgot the new Dubai airport(under construction) that will be finished for 2017(not sure). Will have the capacity for 120 million passengers annually. It's gonna bigger than the Beijing airport and will become the most expensive airport EVER build with a price of 82 BILLIONS

Some fact:
Upon completion it will be the fourth largest air facility in land area (physical size). Only three other air facilities are/were larger than Dubai World Central:
1. King Fahd International Airport (in Damman, Saudi Arabia, which is larger than the country of Bahrain) (780 square kilometers)
2. In Montreal, Canada, the Montréal-Mirabel International Airport (392 square kilometers)
3. Riyadh's King Khalid International Airport (225 square kilometers).

If completed as planned, the airport will have an annual cargo capacity of 12 million tons, more than three times that of Memphis International Airport, today's largest cargo hub, and a passenger capacity of more than 120 million - almost 30% more than Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, currently the world's busiest passenger airport.

IntotheWest Jul 7, 2008 10:47 PM

^Yes, yes...Dubai's growth plan is to build the largest _____ (Fill in the blank). Business case is simple...build the largest for bragging rights.

I doubt it'll ever top the busiest (right now, Atlanta at 89m, O'Hare at 76m, and LHR at 68m). Beijing is over 50m now (9th busiest), and with the growth in China, I wouldn't be surprised if it grew quicker than most...especially considering the gas prices, routes being scaled back, etc. Dubai has seen huge growth (had about 35m in 2007), and I can see 50-60m.


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