Nathan MartinPublishing date: 12 hours ago • 2 minute read
Pulling into the parkade at the Edmonton International Airport these days is an interesting experience.
With only a handful of cars and trucks in the lot, finding a choice spot has never been easier.
Almost no traffic is going to departures or arrivals, apart from a few parked cabs near Gate 8. A man having a smoke surveys the unusually quiet scene before heading inside.
Inside the arrivals terminal is just as eerie. There is almost no sound at all. No enthusiastic family reunions, no sighs of tired passengers and no clatter of the baggage carousels. The occasional voice over the loudspeaker reminds people to keep their distance, and the sound of a security officer’s Segway echoes ahead long before he’s ever seen.
“It’s eerily quiet. You know I’ve been with the airport for 28 years and I’ve never seen the building empty. So at different times a day, you can walk through and not see anybody,” said Steve Maybee, vice-president operations and infrastructure for Edmonton Airports.
The Tim Hortons is open along with the Circle K, but there’s not a lot of customers to order a double-double.
Maybee said the airport has seen a decrease in customers of more than 95 per cent. The aviation hub used to get around 10,000 passengers going through its doors a day. Now it’s anywhere from 250 to 350, he said.
Airport officials are working with health authorities in implementing new regulatory requirements for passengers, including a recent change that anyone travelling through the facility must wear a face mask. There’s also signage and notifications to remind travellers what to do.
People are still working, including ground crews, security and maintenance staff. Maybee said there are anywhere from 10-20 people on site at any given time, though they are spread out over a large area so that they can work without being too close.