Destination of the Week
Hello and welcome to our second White Challenge. Last week, we visited one of the most challenging downhil ski tracks near Kitzbühel, Austria. This week's challenge takes us to Calgary for a ride. Well, not any ride, as this video shows.
The Canada Olympic Park bobsleigh hosted the bobsleigh and luge competitions at the 1988 Winter Olympics. This track is one of only two of its type in the world to be featured in a non-documentary film when it was part of the 1993 American film Cool Runnings which loosely followed the Jamaican Bobsled Team during their competition in bobsleigh at the 1988 Games (the other was the 1981 British film For Your Eyes Only which included scenes from the bobsleigh track in Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy). During the 1988 Winter Olympics, the bobsleigh team from Jamaica debuted at these games, but crashed out during the third run of the four-man event. The story of the team would later be part of the 1993 film Cool Runnings with scenes done at the track.
In 1981, Calgary was awarded the 1988 Winter Olympics over Falun, Sweden and Cortina d'Ampezzo. The track was constructed in just over a year between 1984 and 1986. It was the first combined track in North America and only the second of its type on the continent. Skeleton was introduced to the track in the late 1980s with the track hosting the FIBT World Championships for skeleton in 1992. An indoor iced push facility near the track opened up in 2001. When competition does not occur on the track, it offers programs for bobsleigh and luge open to the public.
the track consisted of 48 reinforced concrete section with five separate starting points. The facility is designed of that like a tuning fork with separate bobsleigh and luge start houses which was selected to lessen construction and maintenance costs. The two portions of the track merge at turn five prior to the Omega combination curve. Lined with 100 km (62 mi) of refrigeration coolant, the track can hold ice at air temperatures up to 20 deg C (68 deg F). Sunscreens were installed on curves directly exposed to the sunlight to keep the track smooth and prevent melting. Electronic timing systems include double photo sensors at the start and finish positions of the track and artificial lighting is used to allow for night runs on the track. Lighting was adjusted at the request of the host television broadcaster (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) prior to the games to ensure proper video coverage for the 1988 games.
Calgary is situated at the confluence of the Bow River and the Elbow River in the south of Alberta, in an area of foothills and prairie, approximately 80 km (50 mi) east of the front ranges of the Canadian Rockies. As of the 2011 census, the City of Calgary had a population of 1,096,833 and a metropolitan population of 1,214,839, making it the largest city in Alberta, and the third-largest municipality and fifth-largest census metropolitan area (CMA) in Canada. Calgary anchors the south end of what Statistics Canada defines as the "Calgary–Edmonton Corridor."
The economy of Calgary includes activity in the energy, financial services, film and television, transportation and logistics, technology, manufacturing, aerospace, health and wellness, retail, and tourism sectors. The Calgary CMA is home to the second-most corporate head offices in Canada among the country's 800 largest corporations.
In large part due to its proximity to the Rocky Mountains, Calgary has traditionally been a popular destination for winter sports. Since hosting the 1988 Winter Olympics, the city has also been home to a number of major winter sporting facilities such as Canada Olympic Park and the Olympic Oval (speed skating and hockey). These facilities serve as the primary training venues for a number of competitive athletes. Also, Canada Olympic Park serves as a mountain biking trail in the summer months. In the summer, the Bow River is very popular among fly-fishermen. Golfing is also an extremely popular activity for Calgarians and the region has a large number of courses.
Calgary is recognized as a Canadian leader in the oil and gas industry as well as for being a leader in economic expansion. Its high personal and family incomes, low unemployment and high GDP per capita have all benefited from increased sales and prices due to a resource boom, and increasing economic diversification. Because of these strengths, Calgary is designated as a global city by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network. Also, Calgary was one of the top 200 cities worldwide, by the Brookings Institution, that had a top performing local economy for 2011. The city was ranked first nationally, and 51st in the world, in that aspect. Additionally, Calgary was voted third in quality of life among North American cities by the 2011-2012 issue of American Cities of the Future. The Conference Board of Canada forecasts Calgary to lead the country in GDP growth through to 2016.
Calgary benefits from a relatively strong job market in Alberta, is part of the Calgary–Edmonton Corridor, one of the fastest growing regions in the country. It is the head office for many major oil and gas related companies, and many financial service business have grown up around them. Small business and self-employment levels also rank amongst the highest in Canada. It is also a distribution and transportation hub with high retail sales. Calgary's economy is decreasingly dominated by the oil and gas industry, although it is still the single largest contributor to the city's GDP.
Calgary International Airport, originally named McCall Field (CYYC), is Calgary's international airport. It is situated approximately 17 km (11 mi) northeast of downtown Calgary. The airport offers scheduled non-stop flights to major cities in Canada, the United States, Mexico, the Caribbean, Europe and East Asia.
Calgary International Airport serves as headquarters for WestJet and as a hub airport for Air Canada and Air Canada Express. The airport is one of eight Canadian airports with US Border Preclearance facilities. The airport is operated by The Calgary Airport Authority as part of Transport Canada's National Airports System. It is Canada's third busiest airport by passenger traffic and by aircraft movements, handling 13,641,246 passengers and 240,709 movements in 2012. CYYC has both the longest runway and the tallest control tower in Canada.
Calgary International Airport (YYC) has come a long way since its inception in 1914. Situated in Bowness, the original airfield was comprised of a grass airstrip and a ramshackle hut, which served as both hangar and terminal building.
The Calgary Municipal Airport at Refrew was established in 1928. Several of the hangars still exist and are in use today, even though the area has been converted to a residential neighbourhood. In 1938, the facility moved to its present location in Calgary's northeast and was christened McCall Field, in honour of Captain Fred McCall, a World War I flying ace and one of Calgary's pioneer aviators.
In 1940, the airport was taken over by the Federal Department of Transport to serve the war effort and was not returned to its original owner, the City of Calgary, until 1949. During this time, the federal government expanded the airport to include four runways and five wartime hangers.
Although the airport had expanded during the war effort, it desperately needed a new terminal to meet the city's growing needs. In 1956, Canada's most modern air terminal opened in the southwest corner of the airport. But sadly, when the jet age thundered in five years later, the new terminal became obsolete and the City of Calgary was forced to return to the drawing board.
As resources were not forthcoming to upgrade the facility, in 1966 the City of Calgary sold the airport to Transport Canada, along with a commitment to spearhead the airport's ascension into the jet age. It was about this time that the facility became known as Calgary International Airport. True to their word, Transport Canada launched an ambitious program of land acquisition and airfield construction and in November of 1977 the terminal building that we see today opened, and with it came the modern age of aviation.
In 1992, The Calgary Airport Authority assumed responsibilities for the operation and expansion of the airport. Today, CYYC is a world class facility committed to creating a positive, engaging experience for passengers and to setting the standard for the industry.
The terminal building boasts over 135 shops, restaurants and services, as well as a 296 room four star Delta Hotel and a space-themed visitor attraction - Spaceport. Over 24,000 people are part of the airport community.
In 2013, CYYC reached new heights with passenger volume increasing almost five per cent to 14.3 million passengers from the previous year, making it the fastest growing airport in Canada. There is no doubt that it has become Alberta's premier international gateway and the destination of choice for passengers, airlines and cargo operations.
Large amounts have been invested since 1992 to renovate and expand airport infrastructure and a further investment is currently forecast over the next several years to meet the needs of the trading region. A new international terminal building and a 14,000 foot parallel runway are just some of the initiatives in place that will ensure that Calgary International Airport remains a premier global gateway capable of accommodating a significant increase in passengers and also new and larger aircrafts of the future.
CYYC has three runways:
08/26, 6,200 ft, 1,890 m
11/29, 8,000 ft, 2,438 m
17R/35L, 12,675 ft, 3,863 m
We can guide you to charts and scenery files:
And now its flightdeck video time. Let's start with a King Air 200 about to land on RWY17 (now 17L).
Our next video is the same runway, but the other direction.
Next, we have a B777-300ER and an A330-300 filmed from the ground.
And this is what it feels to take off from CYYC.
That's the end of our second White Challenge. Next week, we'll visit a ski jump venue in Norway. See you then.