Energy

Why George Clooney would appreciate Calgary’s improved airport

George Clooney in 2009’s Up in the Air plays Ryan Bingham, a consummate frequent flyer who uncovers the secrets of minimizing airport lineups while travelling for a job that involves firing people.

George Clooney in 2009’s Up in the Air plays Ryan Bingham, a consummate frequent flyer who uncovers the secrets of minimizing airport lineups while travelling for a job that involves firing people. Jam your life in a carry-on, he confides, avoid following slow “old people” at security screening checkpoints and tail Asians instead because “they pack light, travel efficiently and got a thing for slip-on shoes.”

After more than 30 years of progressively tighter screening and expanding lineups — brought to you by the 1985 Air India bombing, the 9/11 terrorist attacks and government underfunding  — Clooney and the legions of execs who spend a lot of time up in the air might be impressed by the automation at the new international terminal at Calgary International Airport, or YYC.

The $2-billion, spacious expansion that opened October 31 to house international and U.S. flights introduces some of the most advanced technologies to speed up the processing of outbound and inbound passengers. Other Canadian airports will get the new tech, too, subject to funding and space availability, so Calgary offers a glimpse of the future of air travel.

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