Edmonton International Airport (IATA: YEG, ICAO: CYEG) is the primary air passenger and air cargo facility in the Edmonton region of the Canadian province of Alberta. The airport offers scheduled non-stop flights to major cities in Canada, the United States, Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America and Europe. Transport Canada selected the current site for Edmonton International Airport and purchased over 7,000 acres (28 km²) of land. The airport handeled 7,981,074 passengers in 2015. When the airport opened on November 15, 1960, its first terminal was an arch hangar. Today, it is in use by Canadian North. In 1963, a passenger terminal, built in the international style, was opened. It remains in use as the North Terminal. During the 1970s, the airport experienced a rapid growth in traffic as the city of Edmonton grew, and served approximately 2 million passengers by 1980. However, from the early 1980s until 1995, traffic declined. This decline was attributed to the continued usage of Edmonton City Centre Airport as well as to a slowing economy. Edmonton City Centre did not have the facilities to accept large wide bodied long haul aircraft, thus airlines used City Centre to fly short-haul flights to hubs in other cities where connections to many locations were available. Growth returned in 1995. In a municipal plebiscite in that year, 77% of voting Edmontonians voted to consolidate all scheduled jet passenger service at Edmonton International Airport. In 1998, the airport underwent a $282 million "1998–2005 Redevelopment Project". The three-phase project included the construction of a south terminal and central hall concept, a commuter facility, doubling of the apron, and a multi-storey parkade. This redevelopment project expanded the passenger capacity to 5.5 million. By the time the expansion project was completed in 2005, continued passenger growth triggered planning for another expansion. A new 107,000-square-foot control and office tower was added in 2009.
Further expansion was completed in 2013. Expansions have increased terminal capacity, improved the passenger experience through introduction of travelators, lounges, and retail, increased the number of gates available for aircraft and improved apron capacity among other improvements. Functional highlights include seven new passenger gates, 14 boarding bridges, six new elevators and moving walkways and advanced baggage handling and scanning systems. Incremental improvements like improving de-icing capacity and implementing common use systems for airlines were also delivered. The Renaissance Hotel and the iconic snow-drift inspired control and office tower are recent major additions to the airport landscape. The realignment of the highway will allow for the airport to finalize engineering and begin construction on the airport's third runway - runway 11/29. Runway 11/29, upon completion, is planned to be 3,530 m (11,580 ft) long. In August 2016, the Government of Alberta announced $90 million in funding to begin twinning Highway 19 and that it has protected the area needed for the third runway.Edmonton International Airport also plans to extend the existing Runway 12/30 by one-third its current length from 3,100 m (10,200 ft) to 4,030 m (13,220 ft) to increase accessibility and capacity. For Plane-Spotters it is very difficult to find photo locations.