Calgary

More tweaks coming to YYC's international terminal, says CEO

The international terminal at YYC has been in service for one year — but the CEO of the Calgary Airport Authority says more changes are still coming to the facility.

Complaints about new terminal addressed, but Bob Sartor says changes still coming

The opening of the new YYC international terminal last year made the Calgary International Airport roughly the same size as Vancouver's airport. (Evelyne Asselin/CBC)

The international terminal at YYC has been in service for one year — but the CEO of the Calgary Airport Authority says more changes are still coming to the facility.

At a Calgary Chamber of Commerce event on Thursday, Bob Sartor acknowledged there have been complaints about the facility and said he's taken action to fix them.

The complaints included gripes about the lack of seating at gates and no drinking water fountains, both of which have now been added.

But one thing Sartor said he cannot remedy are the complaints about long walks between sections of the airport.

Bigger airport, longer walks

Sartor said Calgarians can reach lots of non-stop destinations that passengers from similar sized airports in Canada or the U.S cannot.

That means a bigger airport and at times, longer walks.

"That's part of the price to pay," said Sartor. "We were in such a compact little terminal, as crowded and as hectic and as frenetic as it was, it was really easy to get from point A to point B."

Bob Sartor is the CEO of the Calgary Airport Authority. (Scott Dippel/CBC)

That said, more moving sidewalks will be added to help speed people along.

Since the new international terminal opened one year ago this week, Sartor said YYC is now the same size as Vancouver's airport. 

And the changes are going to continue.

Sartor said YYC is planning to give travellers more of a sense of what Calgary is all about, although the airport authority can't afford to do something like Vancouver's major purchases of indigenous art.

"Having that sense of place, having that reflection of Calgary and the surrounding area in the terminal. That's something that we're working on still," he said.

Sign project coming in '18

As well, plans to improve way-finding signage through YYC will get underway in 2018 and continue in coming years.

"Our growth is largely international," said Sartor. "So we need to make sure that those travellers clearly understand where they need to go to get their bags, to get assistance, to get a cab or a bus and so on."

Although Calgary's economy has taken a hit during the economic downturn over the past couple of years, YYC says its numbers have only increased.

Passenger traffic through Calgary's airport is up 3.2 per cent this year over 2016.

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