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April, 2004 - Nr. 4


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Region of Waterloo International Airport (YKF)
– International, eh? –

by Herwig Wandschneider

Herwig Wandschneider

Region of Waterloo business and political leaders were invited last week to preview and celebrate the upgrade to the Regional Airport and to welcome new airline services about to begin to major Canadian and American centres, direct from K-W.

Waterloo Airport  [Photo: Region of Waterloo]

Arriving guests were efficiently channelled by Air Cadets to the designated parking area for this event – the aircraft apron in front of "International Arrivals". Inside, and past the future customs clearance area, guests proceeded to the brand-new departure/arrivals area, which was laid out along almost the entire perimeter with a selection of superb hors d’oeuvres, cheeses, fruits and other desserts prepared by the chefs of "Rushes" Restaurant at Waterloo Inn. Liquid refreshments were served from a temporary enclosed area in the centre of the hall.

Plenty of reasons to celebrate the Airport expansion. As Ken Seiling, Chair of the Region, pointed out, the Airport has a catchment population of 1.4 Million people, enough to make the expansion a viable development. Alex Home, Airport Manager, proudly pointed to the growth of the Airport as a natural consequence of the growth of the Region and of business demands. He congratulated the Region, the Cities, Chambers of Commerce, Canada’s Technology Triangle, Communitech Technology Association, and others for their vision and support, which helped to attract the two first airlines to provide services to Ottawa, Montreal, and Detroit. Toronto – either Buttonville, or the Island Airport - will hopefully be serviced next.

QuikAir (www.quikair.ca), (1-800-551-7845), an Alberta airliner, so far serviced primarily business travelers in the Calgary – Edmonton Corridor. They will now also provide twice-a-day (Mo – Fri) service, first to and from Ottawa, then also to Montreal. "Application for Toronto has been filed", says Paul Phee, President of QuikAir. Ottawa service will begin Monday, March 29th. One of his company’s plane was on the Apron. It was used earlier to familiarize the media with QuikAir and is the plane scheduled for first use on the K-W to Ottawa route.

The International part will be serviced by Northwest Airlines (www.nwa.com/) (1-800-225-2525). Northwest will provide 3 times daily – yes: daily – service to and from Detroit, from where passengers can connect to non-stop service to major destinations in the USA and Europe (eg Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Paris and Rome), as well as to connecting flights around the world. That service begins June 10, 2004. As Brad Mueller, Scheduling Executive for Northwest Airlines pointed out: "K-W to Detroit is the only additional corridor planned by Northwest for 2004". Clearly, both QuikAir and Northwest have come to understand the phenomenal growth of this Region and its growing importance in Manufacturing, Technology, and Education.

Both airlines use the latest technology to issue boarding passes. "If you have access to the Internet, you can even print your own Boarding Pass at home" says QuikAir’s Paul Phee. This is, after all, Canada’s Technology Triangle.

A Piece of Airport History

Among the guests at the preview event, there was also Mr. Thomas Lloyd Hagey, a descendant of Samuel Bricker, who was a co-founder of Waterloo County, and who was instrumental in the purchase of the "Beasley" tract by the German Land Company. (Another descendant of Samuel Bricker was Dr. Joseph Gerald Hagey – founding president of the University of Waterloo).

The airport building would today be visible behind the man sitting on the binder  [Photo: Courtesy of Mr. Thomas Lloyd Hagey]

The Hagey family still owns land adjacent to the airport after selling off some of it for Airport development in 1951. "The farm has been occupied by a Hagey since 1828" explains Thomas Hagey. "We will be the last generation to farm the property as it will undoubtedly fall under airport development as the airport expands further to accommodate the growth of the Region".

Another piece of history that slowly fades into modern times…

( Echo Germanica, news, heritage, culture )

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