Career fair for Calgary's new airport terminal overwhelmed by job seekers

Thousands of people looking for a new career waited in line for hours for the chance of a job at the new international airport terminal in Calgary. Those who arrived later in the day were directed to go home and apply online.

Local traffic snarled as lineup of applicants stretches around building

Take a look at this lineup

6 years ago
Duration 1:10
Thousands lined up in Calgary for a chance to work at the new airport terminal

The Calgary airport had to turn away some job seekers after thousands flocked to the Coast Plaza Hotel on Wednesday to apply for positions at the new terminal. 

The queue for the career fair snaked around the building at the Coast Plaza Hotel at 1316 33rd Street N.E. as people waited for a chance to meet prospective employers.

"We're doing our best to process everyone in line, but unfortunately we won't be able to accommodate any additional people," tweeted the airport on Wednesday afternoon.

People are encouraged to instead apply online.

The new $1.6-billion terminal, set to open on Oct. 31, will add more than two million square feet to the existing terminal, with 24 new gates and 50 new retail and restaurant locations.

The airport says there are 10 employers at the job fair seeking 300 to 450 workers to meet needs of new terminal, in areas such as operations, security, customer service, food and retail.

The job fair was expected to run until 7 p.m. but officials started turning people away from joining the massive lineup earlier in the afternoon.

Cam West drove in from Airdrie and waited almost three hours to get into the job fair.

He said he was impressed with the variety of positions available.

"From, like, security, and actually working on the planes to a bunch of other stuff, like food services. I just thought it would be more other stuff, like loading bags," he said.

"I actually just dropped off a resume at these guys here who do the de-icing. I never would have thought of doing that, which is pretty cool."

Cam West drove in from Airdrie and waited almost three hours to get into the job fair. He said he was impressed with the variety of jobs available. (CBC)

Chris Ettinger, who waited about two hours to get inside the fair, said he has been on EI for seven months.

"And it's running out. So it's getting a little nerve-racking," he said. "Obviously there's a huge shortage of jobs out there." 

The terminal will also include two central retail plazas and a new hotel, the Marriott, which is set to open before the terminal in September.

"The opening of the new terminal means more people will have the opportunity to join the growing business at YYC and become part of our world-renowned Team YYC," said the airport's president, Garth Atkinson, in a release.

Chris Ettinger waited about two hours to get inside. He said he has been on EI for seven months. 'And it's running out. So it's getting a little nerve-racking.' (CBC)
The new international terminal at the Calgary International Airport will add more than two million square feet and create hundreds of jobs at the facility. (Calgary International Airport )


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