Special events planned for airport terminal transition

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IF you want to be part of Winnipeg aviation history, you might want to book your flights now.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 04/10/2011 (3967 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

IF you want to be part of Winnipeg aviation history, you might want to book your flights now.

The last flights out of the old terminal building at Richardson International Airport will take off Oct. 29. The first flight from the new terminal building will take off to Thunder Bay Oct. 30.

Winnipeg Airports Authority spokeswoman Christine Alongi said passengers on the last flights from the old terminal and the first flights to and from the new terminal will be treated and greeted with a “warm welcome and memorabilia.”

It’s expected those on the final and first flights will get a Richardson airport hat and be treated to refreshments in the airport. “They will definitely be part of the celebratory atmosphere,” said Alongi.

Pilots and flight attendants on the last flights will be videotaped as they arrive and leave to record the moments for posterity.

Events for the new airport terminal will run throughout the month.

The Winnipeg Airports Authority has a passenger test scheduled for Oct. 8.

An employee appreciation night will take place inside the new terminal Oct. 14 and a VIP gala reception for stakeholders and others who helped make the new terminal possible will take place inside the new terminal Oct. 15. Alongi said between 600 and 800 people are expected for the gala.

The biggest days however will be at the end of the month with the last and first flights and will carry over into the new terminal’s first days.

On Oct. 31, said Alongi, expect there to be Halloween treats in store.

It has been a long haul for the airport, which is a year behind schedule thanks to problems with pipes laid underneath the concrete foundation.

Queen Elizabeth II landed at the new terminal while it was still under construction in July 2010. She signed a message for a time capsule that will remain buried until 2060. Then the pipe problems came to light and the October 2010 opening was pushed back.

The terminal is the biggest capital project in Winnipeg’s history, with a $585 million price tag before the piping problems cropped up. It will be Canada’s newest and greenest airport terminal, said Alongi.

mia.rabson@freepress.mb.ca

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