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Meeting the Needs of the Alberta Oil Sands Industry The Expansion of the Shell Albian Sands Aerodrome


To accommodate passenger demands associated with the local Alberta oil sands industry, Shell Canada Ltd. is expanding the capacity of their Albian Sands Aerodrome. This aerodrome is a key transportation component for the accessing of oil sands developments to north of Fort McMurray and supports an industry that provides a major contribution to the Canadian economy. Over the last century, the Alberta oil sands industry has relied upon an evolving transportation system including river paddle-wheelers, float planes, roadway and more recently air. The provision of an efficient air service to this area is critical in the transportation of many thousands of industry employees to and from their homes located across Canada.
The existing aerodrome commenced operations in 2008 and is currently accommodating approximately 200,000 passengers annually. The aerodrome includes a 7500 foot runway; apron/parking stands to accommodate two Code C aircraft and two Code B aircraft, an air terminal building that accommodates approximately 120 people and various equipment facilities relating to emergency response, operations and maintenance.
Recent growth in passenger traffic has resulted in capacity issues on the terminal building apron, the terminal building itself, the groundside staging areas/access roads and the groundside facilities for maintenance equipment. The proposed expansion will increase the size of the apron to accommodate a total of five B737 Code C aircraft (including provision for collection of de-icing fluids), increase the size of the terminal building to accommodate 300 passengers, provide a groundside staging area for 20 highway buses and provide improved facilities for emergency services and maintenance equipment.
The expansion of the groundside staging area incorporates the existing operational procedure of limiting the use of private vehicles, with passengers arriving and leaving the aerodrome via highway buses. The new staging area will incorporate low energy LED illumination.
The expanded terminal building will be designed in accordance with the Canada Energy Code for Buildings with the intent of minimizing the electrical and thermal loads at this sub-arctic location. Design features such as heat recovery systems, occupancy sensor systems and the locating of windows and doors will assist in minimizing these loadings. The provision of low flow appliances and water-free urinals will reduce the costs of truck hauling both potable water and sanitary waste.

Conference Paper Details

Session title:
Goods Movement - Past, Present and Future (A)
Reidt, D.
Transportation planning