Logistics And Frieght Forwarding

Trials, testing and logistics: YYC readies for opening day of new …

Between 8 p.m. Sunday night and 3 a.m. Monday morning, a flurry of activity will take place behind closed doors at the Calgary International Airport.

During that seven-hour period, crucial equipment will be moved from the existing terminal to the new international terminal. Last minute tests of computer systems, baggage equipment and check-in kiosks will take place. Airport, airline and security employees arriving for early morning shifts will find their new stations in preparation of the moment when the doors open and YYC’s new, £2-billion international terminal becomes operational for the first time.

By 3 a.m., the terminal will be accessible to the public, with check-in starting around 4 a.m. The first departure from the new building is scheduled for 6 a.m. It has taken 15 years of planning and five years of construction to get to this point, but that doesn’t mean airport officials are coasting to the finish line.

Moving all of YYC’s U.S. and international flight operations to an entirely new terminal is a major logistical feat that requires coordination and cooperation from multiple partners and agencies and hundreds of individuals.

  • Calgary Airport Whiter Hatters Mary Anne Ladner and Nolan Wiebe are awestruck by the concourse of the new International Terminal during a familiarization stroll Monday October 3, 2016. Ted Rhodes / Postmedia

  • The front facade of the new Calgary Airport International Terminal from the arrivals level access road as seen Monday October 3, 2016. Ted Rhodes / Postmedia

  • The YYC Open to the World logo overlooking the concourse of the new International Terminal. Ted Rhodes / Postmedia

  • The pedestrian walkway leading from the parkade into the new International Terminal at Calgary Airport as seen on an advance tour Monday October 3, 2016. The terminal, serving US and International flights, is set to open at the end of October. (Ted Rhodes/Postmedia Calgary) Ted Rhodes / 20076503A

  • The main concourse, servicing US and international departures, at the new Calgary Airport International Terminal. Ted Rhodes / Postmedia

  • The main concourse, servicing US and international departures, at the new Calgary Airport International Terminal. Ted Rhodes / Postmedia

  • Windows overlook the tarmac on the US departures level of the new Calgary Airport International Terminal. Ted Rhodes / Postmedia

  • Bistro on the Bow on the arrivals level, one of numerous restaurants, coffee shops and bars in the new Calgary Airport International Terminal. Ted Rhodes / Postmedia

  • The international departures boarding gates area at the new Calgary Airport International Terminal as seen on an advance tour Monday October 3, 2016. Ted Rhodes / Postmedia

  • The YYC Open to the World logo overlooking the concourse of the new International Terminal as seen on an advance tour. Ted Rhodes / Postmedia

  • A maple leaf and a Welcome to Canada sign greets travellers as they arrive in the new International Terminal at Calgary Airport. Ted Rhodes / Postmedia

  • Workers on the job in the Belgian Beerhouse on the US departures level at the new Calgary Airport International Terminal as seen on an advance tour Monday October 3, 2016. The terminal, serving US and International flights, is set to open at the end of October. (Ted Rhodes/Postmedia Calgary) Ted Rhodes / 20076503A

  • A lounge area overlooking the tarmac on the US departures level at the new Calgary Airport International Terminal. Ted Rhodes / Postmedia

  • The electricity powered cars on the YYC Link system that will take passengers on a Connections Corridor between the new Calgary Airport International Terminal and domestic flights in the existing terminal. Ted Rhodes / Postmedia

  • A monitor in the baggage pick up area in the new International Terminal at Calgary Airport as seen on an advance tour Monday October 3, 2016.

    The terminal, serving US and International flights, is set to open at the end of October. (Ted Rhodes/Postmedia Calgary) Ted Rhodes / 20076503A

  • Test baggage waits to travel through the automated tracking system in the main concourse, servicing US and international departures, at the new Calgary Airport International Terminal. Ted Rhodes / Postmedia

  • The baggage pick up area in the new International Terminal at Calgary Airport as seen on an advance tour Monday October 3, 2016. The terminal, serving US and International flights, is set to open at the end of October. (Ted Rhodes/Postmedia Calgary) Ted Rhodes / 20076503A

  • A worker carries a ladder as many finishing touches are underway in the new Calgary Airport International Terminal. Ted Rhodes / Postmedia

  • The Glacier Wall, an art piece by Michael Mailhot, in the arrivals area of the new International Terminal at Calgary Airport as seen on an advance tour Monday October 3, 2016. The work is part of the Rhythms of the Landscape collection of sense of place works throughout the terminal.

    The terminal, serving US and International flights, is set to open at the end of October. (Ted Rhodes/Postmedia Calgary) Ted Rhodes / 20076503A

  • The Stars and Stripes fly in US Customs at the new Calgary Airport International Terminal. Ted Rhodes / Postmedia

  • The Stars and Stripes fly in US Customs at the new Calgary Airport International Terminal. Ted Rhodes / Postmedia

  • The escalators leading from US Customs to the departures level at the new Calgary Airport International Terminal. Ted Rhodes / Postmedia

  • A painting by Sandy Kruze, Right Side of Morraine, and stone sculptures by Stewart Steinhauer, Humble Bear and Mother Bear Prays for Earth Healing, in a corridor leading from the parkade at the new International Terminal at Calgary Airport as seen on an advance tour Monday October 3, 2016.

    The works are part of the Rhythms of the Landscape collection of sense of place works throughout the terminal. The terminal, serving US and International flights, is set to open at the end of October. (Ted Rhodes/Postmedia Calgary) Ted Rhodes / 20076503A

  • Breakaway by Robert Keith Spaith in the arrivals area at the new International Terminal at Calgary Airport as seen on an advance tour Monday October 3, 2016. The work is part of the Rhythms of the Landscape collection of sense of place works throughout the terminal. The terminal, serving US and International flights, is set to open at the end of October. (Ted Rhodes/Postmedia Calgary) Ted Rhodes / 20076503A

  • Sure Footed, wire frame mountain goats, by Jeff de Boer in the arrivals area at the new International Terminal at Calgary Airport as seen on an advance tour Monday October 3, 2016. The work is part of the Rhythms of the Landscape collection of sense of place works throughout the terminal.

    The terminal, serving US and International flights, is set to open at the end of October. (Ted Rhodes/Postmedia Calgary) Ted Rhodes / 20076503A

  • An animatronic beaver, part of Jeff de Boer’s Nature’s Playground, in the International departures area at the new International Terminal at Calgary Airport as seen on an advance tour Monday October 3, 2016.

    The work is part of the Rhythms of the Landscape collection of sense of place works throughout the terminal. The terminal, serving US and International flights, is set to open at the end of October. (Ted Rhodes/Postmedia Calgary) Ted Rhodes / 20076503A

  • An animatronic owl, part of Jeff de Boer’s Nature’s Playground, in the International departures area at the new International Terminal at Calgary Airport as seen on an advance tour Monday October 3, 2016. The work is part of the Rhythms of the Landscape collection of sense of place works throughout the terminal. The terminal, serving US and International flights, is set to open at the end of October. (Ted Rhodes/Postmedia Calgary) Ted Rhodes / 20076503A

  • A group of White Hat volunteers get a rare tour through the soon to be open US Customs at the new Calgary Airport International Terminal. Ted Rhodes / Postmedia

  • YYC Calgary International Airport CEO Garth Atkinson in the US Departures area during the media tour of the new International Terminal at Calgary Airport Thursday October 6, 2016. Ted Rhodes / Postmedia

  • The departures board in the concourse of the new International Terminal at Calgary Airport Thursday October 6, 2016. Ted Rhodes / Postmedia

  • The departures board in the concourse of the new International Terminal at Calgary Airport Thursday October 6, 2016. Ted Rhodes / Postmedia

  • YYC Customer Care Ambassador Tony Li behind the wheel of YYC Link, the electric powered vehicle system that will transport passengers between terminals at the the new International Terminal at Calgary Airport Thursday October 6, 2016. Ted Rhodes / Postmedia

  • YYC Customer Care Ambassador Anum Cheema behind the wheel of YYC Link, the electric powered vehicle system that will transport passengers between terminals at the the new International Terminal at Calgary Airport Thursday October 6, 2016.

  • The view towards the tarmac and downtown Calgary at the the new International Terminal at Calgary Airport Thursday October 6, 2016. Ted Rhodes / Postmedia

  • Calgary Airport White Hatters Mary Anne Ladner and Nolan Wiebe are awestruck by the concourse of the new International Terminal during a familiarization stroll Monday October 3, 2016. Ted Rhodes / Postmedia

  • Ana Maria Coutu, Acting Director of Canadian Border Services, Central Alberta District, at Canada Customs, with the automated check-in kiosks, in the new International Terminal at Calgary Airport. Ted Rhodes / Postmedia

While most of the work can be done in advance, the hours leading up to opening day on Oct.

31 are critical. “We have a whole big plan for the 72 hours leading up to start, the 24-hour period of opening, and the 72-hour period afterwards,” said Garth Atkinson, CEO of the Calgary Airport Authority. “That 24-hour period in the middle, you can imagine, is huge, because even though these are all new facilities, overnight there are still some things that need to be moved.” Both the Canadian Border Services Agency and U.S.

Customs and Border Protection have equipment that will be moved during the overnight hours of the 30th-31st. They, along with the Canadian Air Transport Security Association, have been testing and training staff on new equipment and procedures for months. In fact, every aspect of the new terminal’s operations — from check-in to security to bag claim — has been tested repeatedly in preparation for opening day.

The new baggage claim system, for example, which uses automated totes to move each bag individually, has been running flat-out for more than six months, Atkinson said. In August and September, the airport authority hosted a series of public trials, inviting 2,500 volunteers from the public to pose as travellers and do a mock run-through of baggage handling, the connections process, aircraft boarding, and more.

Related

Last Thursday afternoon, the airport ran three departing flights out of the new terminal as part of the preparations for opening day. “You never want to be overconfident,” Atkinson said. “We’ll be training and testing right up until the last day.”

The airlines as well, which are moving all of their international and U.S. flights to new gates overnight, have detailed plans in place for the transition. Bill Devlin, senior director for airport development with Air Canada, said about 30 per cent of the company’s Calgary staff — more than 100 employees — will be arriving to a new work location Monday morning, and that doesn’t include the employees who regularly fly through the airport. “It’s also a different work location for flight attendants and pilots, not just the people who are present in Calgary,” Devlin said. “So it’s quite an education to let people know ‘how do I get into the airport, where are the new security doors, how do I get to the apron to check the aircraft.’ The nitty-gritty of people’s specific activities are all changing, and it’s a huge challenge to communicate that.”

Louis Saint-Cyr, vice-president of airports and guest experience for WestJet, said his airline has been preparing for the transition to the new terminal for 9 to 12 months. WestJet has been organizing walk-throughs, simulations, and training not just for their own employees, but also for third-party contractors the airline works with, such as the company that provides de-icing services. “Your third party vendors need to know how you’re going to be operating, where your fleet is going to be.

So there’s a lot of planning and preparation from that perspective,” Saint-Cyr said. The Calgary Airport Authority has ensured that every person who works in the airport, even if they won’t be working in the new terminal, will have had a chance to tour the new facility before it opens. YYC’s legendary White Hat volunteers have also been given advance tours and training to ensure they are prepared to welcome visitors and answer questions on opening day.

White Hat volunteer Linda Ehman — who is part of a group responsible for training fellow White Hatters on the workings of the new terminal — got her first glimpse of the inside of the building in September. She has since completed eight hours of training and said she believes she and her team are prepared. “The first time I saw it (the new terminal) was very overwhelming, but by the time I’d been here 10 times I felt more than ready to be here on opening day,” Ehman said.

All of the preparations are designed to make sure that on opening day, the customer experience is as smooth as possible, Atkinson said. He added it will be all hands on deck Monday, adding the airport authority will be running a special operations centre on opening day to oversee and monitor the transition. “And of course we’ll be out in full force from about 3 a.m. that day, to welcome people,” Atkinson said.

astephenson@postmedia.com[1]

Twitter.com/AmandaMsteph[2]

References

  1. ^ astephenson@postmedia.com (calgaryherald.com)
  2. ^ Twitter.com/AmandaMsteph (Twitter.com)



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*