Another major business opened near the Edmonton International Airport on Wednesday, and with it comes an increase in traffic heading to the airport.
“We’ve been planning for this for many years,” said Tom Ruth, president and CEO of Edmonton Airports. “We’re ready.”
EIA has been working with Alberta Transportation officials and communities near the airport, Ruth said.
“We’ve spent a lot of time looking at traffic flows, doing simulations,” he said.
Costco officially opened its 100th warehouse in Canada at the airport Wednesday morning.
A new 428,000-square-foot outlet mall with more than 100 stores opened nearby on May 2.
Various new restaurants and other businesses have opened at the airport as well, Ruth said.
“There’s 2,000 more employees that are working at the airport this year than last year,” he said.
None of that leaves Ruth concerned about traffic congestion.
“The peaks and valleys will be different, when you think about store hours, when they open,” Ruth said, “and passengers, when they’re coming in and out of the airport.”
EIA did hire additional traffic personnel for the Costco opening. The extra staff will remain in place until the weekend, after which the hype around the Costco opening is expected to dissipate.
Airport officials urge travellers to allow extra time to get to the airport during this time period.
Cavelle Poirier, who lives in Leduc, was glad to have a new Costco store so close to her home.
“It took me three minutes to get here,” Poirier said.
She usually shops at the Costco store in west Edmonton, and that trip sometimes took 45 minutes.
“I am excited actually,” she said. “Small things excite me.”