Edmonton

Cargo flight carrying medical supplies from China lands at Edmonton airport

A cargo flight loaded with medical supplies from China arrived at Edmonton’s airport early Monday morning, almost a month after the facility stopped accepting international passenger flights.

'Our cargo movements continue to grow and have never been more important,' EIA says

The Cargojet flight carrying medical supplies from Shanghai arrived early Monday morning at Edmonton International Airport. (Submitted by Edmonton International Airport)

A cargo flight loaded with medical supplies from China arrived at Edmonton's airport early Monday morning, almost a month after the facility stopped accepting international passenger flights.

The Cargojet flight, arranged by Alberta Health Services, carried personal protective equipment for front line health-care workers and first responders in the province, according to a news release from the Edmonton International Airport.

The Boeing 767-300F left Shanghai on Sunday.

"Although our passenger movements are substantially down, our cargo movements continue to grow and have never been more important to our community," Tom Ruth, EIA president and CEO, said in the release.

Canada has been actively seeking medical supplies — including medical masks, gowns and gloves — to ensure a stable supply as demand and profiteers overwhelm global markets. 

"Our government is working very hard on an ongoing basis to secure the personal protective equipment required to keep our health care, continuing care and seniors care workers safe," Municipal Affairs Minister Kaycee Madu said in the release.

The PPE supplies arrived as health professionals in Canada warn that shortages could put the lives of front-line workers at risk.

On March 16, in response to the global coronavirus pandemic, the federal government announced all international passenger flights arriving in Canada were restricted to one of four airports: Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver and Calgary. 

According to the release, Edmonton is the only airport community in Canada to be certified by the International Air Transport Association to be involved with the transport of sensitive medical cargo, including pharmaceutical shipments that need strict temperature controls.

"This international designation ensures EIA will continue prospering as a global-scale gateway that will welcome future medical supply flights as well as other essential, time sensitive products," the release said.

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