Dear SMART Airports and Regions Conference Honoured Guest,

I look forward to welcoming and hosting you at the 2018 SMART Airports and Regions conference in Edmonton, Alberta, July 23-25. Edmonton International Airport (EIA; CYEG), is very proud to partner with Edmonton Economic Development Corporation and Leduc-Nisku Economic Development Association to bring this conference to our region. I have always been amazed at the innovation of other airports at previous SMART conferences, and I cannot wait to share with you all that is happening at EIA and in the Edmonton Metro Region.

Since 2014, EIA has attracted over $750 million in private investment as we develop our airport city. We have created the Alberta Aerospace and Technology Centre (AATC), a collaborative group of innovative industry leaders who have implemented technology such as full-scale flight simulators; a 737 Classic with Canadian North airlines and an Airbus Helicopter with HNZ Topflight. AATC also includes low-orbit satellites from a local start-up, autonomous vehicle testing (airside and landside) and upcoming robotic food and beverage delivery.

EIA, in partnership with Aerium Analytics, also boasts the first drone wildlife management program at any airport in the world. We have another exciting partnership with Absolute Combustion, which has developed and is testing at EIA, a portable, flameless combustion heater for aircraft heating that reduces fuel consumption by over 50 per cent, emits zero C02 and has ultra-low NOX emissions.

The Edmonton Metro Region is a growing ecosystem for artificial intelligence, microsystems and nanotechnology. Google Deep Mind, one of the world’s leading AI organizations, chose Edmonton to be one of their only three lab sites in the world. Home to one the country’s leading research universities, as well as a top research hospital, Edmonton has long been a centre of health innovation fostered by the Health City initiative. Breakout Edmonton startups such as Jobber and Granify exemplify the region’s expanding technology innovation sector alongside veteran tech companies such as Electronic Arts’ BioWare and Intuit.

At this year’s conference you can expect to experience all of the exciting developments mentioned above, as well as some of our recent developments, including the brand new 100-store Premium Outlet Collection, opening in May 2018. We also have Aurora Sky, the world’s largest and most advanced medical cannabis production facility, located right on the airport. You will have the opportunity to see this state-of-the-art facility and learn about the innovations driving the connections between the cannabis industry and Edmonton International Airport. You will also be able to see the Century Mile horse track and casino, hotels and ancillary retail currently under construction on EIA.

Our vision has been to create an experience at our airport that attracts passengers and generates enormous outward-radiating economic development for our region. Please join us this July and experience everything EIA and the Edmonton Metro Region have to offer.

Tom Ruth, President and CEO, Edmonton International Airport