Calgary airport runway opening celebrations held over the weekend

Up to 10,000 people were expected to roam the new Calgary airport runway today while enjoying food trucks, vintage airplanes and other attractions.

Run and Roam the Runway included run on Saturday and family festival on Sunday

People got a chance to roam the new airport runway today and take in the sights, such as these vintage planes. (CBC)

Up to 10,000 people were expected to roam the new Calgary airport runway today while enjoying food trucks, vintage airplanes and other attractions. 

Roughly 1,400 participants ran or walked the new Calgary airport runway on Saturday. The new addition cost $600 million and is scheduled to be in service on June 28. (Tim Devlin/CBC)

Calgarians also got a chance to run or walk the length of the new addition Saturday as part of the grand opening celebrations being held this weekend. 

At 14,000 feet long — or 4.26 kilometres — it will be Canada's longest runway when it comes into service on June 28.

Airport runway facts

  • Finished length is 14,000-feet long and 200-feet wide.
  • Capable of landing the world’s largest aircraft: A380 and B747-800.
  • Has centreline lighting.
  • YYC has more than doubled in size and passenger volume over the last 20 years.
  • In 2013, the airport broke previous records by welcoming more than 14.3 million passengers to become Canada's fastest growing airport.
  • This is the largest expansion the airport has ever undertaken.
  • YYC is one of only three airports in Canada to offer passengers nonstop service to both Europe and Asia.

"You would be able to land a space shuttle on this thing," said Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi. 

"So I am looking forward to much more growth of the airport with this runway and with the new terminal, and more and more opportunities for Calgarians to connect to more and more places."

The new $600-million addition will be the airport's fourth runway and was constructed on airport land between the Air Terminal Building and 36 Street N.E.

Construction on the runway began in April 2011.

Roughly 1,400 participants took advantage of Saturday's fun run — which featured five- and 8.4-kilometre options.

Airport officials say the Run and Roam the Runway event received significant interest from the public, with registration for both days’ activities filling up within one week. 

In addition to this weekend's opening, the 620-metre airport tunnel underneath the new runway was also opened to traffic recently.

It connects Barlow Trail to 36th Street N.E. and can accommodate six lanes of traffic and a future LRT line.

A new $1.4 billion international terminal is also set to open in late 2015.


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