The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on airport planning in Western Canada

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Duerksen, Kathryn Elizabeth
This thesis provides academic research on the economic, personnel and policy effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on airports in Western Canada, with a focus on airport and emergency planning, and how airports are recovering from the pandemic. The goal of this research is to seek clarity on how the pandemic impacted our airports in terms of personnel, economic decline, and most notably the ways in which airport planning and operation will change because of these drastic events. This thesis incorporates seven semi-structured interviews with eight airport industry professionals who provide examples of first-hand, professional experience in the Western Canadian Airport Industry during the pandemic. As a result, this research intends to bring to light current emerging airport recovery plans, and lessons learned for airport and emergency planning in Western Canada. Through literature review and an analysis of interview responses, this thesis recommends that airports establish Strategic and Emergency Plans that allow airports to not only recover from the effects of the pandemic, but ensure that there are proactive emergency plans in place for airports to follow in the event of another emergency situation.
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