Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Picked up in passing while at Trudeau Airport

 I just returned from a week in South Florida, flying in and out of our growing airport. No, I am not talking about Mirabel. Here are a few notes:

TRUDEAU AIRPORT DELAYS: If you are flying out of here, the U.S. budget situation is limiting the number of customs officers present at Montréal–Trudeau airport. Aéroports de Montréal is working with U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the airlines to minimize the impacts of this situation for travellers. However, wait times could be longer than usual.

WHAT’S NEW: Trudeau Airport continues to expand. New boarding lounges are now available, if required for international flights, and particularly for Sun destination service. Located at the far end of the existing international jetty, these new departure lounges are the first phase of a major expansion project estimated to cost $270 million. With seating capacity for 420—the equivalent of two normal boarding lounges—the new Gate 62 is equipped with a new bridge designed to handle three passenger transfer vehicles at once to transport passengers to aircraft parked at remote stands. Phase II of the international jetty expansion project, which will get underway in 2014, will add a total of six new contact gates for wide-body jets (including two for A-380s), as well as a bus station.

Scheduled for completion in September 2016, this additional section will include, among others, a vast 1,450-square-meter commercial area that will feature stylish lounges, shops, bars and restaurants. These facilities will confirm Montréal–Trudeau’s status as a world-class airport.

“September 2016 is an important date for Aéroports de Montréal because we will be playing host to the Airports Council International (ACI) World and ACI North America annual conference, which will be held at the Palais des congrès de Montréal,” Mr. Cherry noted. “More than 2,000 participants from around the world are expected to attend this prestigious event, and we are planning to take advantage of this opportunity to showcase our expertise in airport operation and development.”

The extension of the international jetty is being accompanied by major landscaping and concreting work to expand the west apron and develop aircraft parking stands. This site, covering an area of 137,000 square metres (approximately the size of twenty soccer fields) will be completed in 2013. In preparation for the work, hangars and warehouses along Stuart Graham Boulevard also had to be demolished and relocated.

Other improvements are under way or planned for the coming years with the aim of adapting the capacity of airport facilities to demand that is growing by an average of two to three percent annually over the long term. The Corporation’s capital investment program for the 2013–2017 period totals $1 billion.  

AIRPORT PARKING: I have always been among those people who prefer to take his own car to Trudeau International Airport in Dorval rather than cabbing it back and forth.  The problem is the daily unaffordable price the airport charges. Enter the Sheraton Airport Montreal Hotel, which has convenient park and stay packages. Here you can relax in their newly renovated guest rooms and avoid the expense of airport parking. Spend the night (for as little as $144) with them before your trip, then park for up to eight, 15 or 22 days at no additional cost. You can book online (sheratonmontrealairport.com) or by calling 866-716-8101      end_of_the_skype_highlighting and mentioning promo code SDQ.  If you just want to leave you vehicle there, minus the hotel stay, the cost is only $12.50 per night (taxes included). This is absolutely a better value and also includes superior security with gates and cameras, a price lower than the $18 to $23 range at the airport and a complimentary shuttle which runs every 15 minutes.

The hotel is excited to be part of the global launch of Sheraton Social Hour, a first-of-its-kind, brand-wide premium wine program. The new program offers guests a specially curated menu of premium wines and weekly tasting events at more than 240 participating Sheraton hotels around the world. In North America, the program will feature 90+ rated wines by Wine Spectator served in Riedel stemware to ensure that each varietal is presented in the perfect stemware that artfully enhances the wine’s flavor and aroma. You can read more about it here.

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