Innovative Electric Passenger Transportation System for Calgary Airport

Context of Transport Climate Action

The Calgary Airport is building a brand new international terminal in response to the province of Alberta’s economic expansion.

Calgary Airport Terminal Connectivity Program (TCP) consists of numerous projects essential to providing the infrastructure and systems required to connect the new International Facilities Project to the existing Air Terminal Building. The goal of the TCP is to efficiently connect passengers and baggage between the various travel sectors (International, Trans border & Domestic).

In December 2013, after reviewing numerous transportation options, including traditional diesel buses operating outside the terminal, the Calgary Airport Authority decided to launch a request for proposal for the procurement of customized and iconic electric shuttles which would transport half of the 14.5 Million passengers from the main terminal to the new international terminal. This transportation system is the most important component of this connectivity program. This decision clearly demonstrated how electric mobility can surpass traditional transportation when all externalities are considered and it shows the commitment of the Calgary Airport Authority to electric mobility.


The objective of this project is to design and build a system of electric shuttles that is key to the Calgary Airport Terminal Connectivity Program (TCP).

The finest engineering team has been assembled by the PIT Group, including the famous Canadian automotive designer, Paul Deutschman, to deliver these shuttles in less than 30 months.

These shuttles are custom designed for the Calgary Airport and will provide a unique transportation experience to over 7 million of passengers a year that will use this service. Electric mobility has proven to be an essential element of this experience.


This project will be completed in approximately 30 months. The intention here is not just to demonstrate the technology, but to put it into full operation, ready to the opening of the new terminal. The implementation was divided into several phases.

1- In the first phase a vehicle was developed from a clean sheet. Engineers and architects worked hand to hand, considering the input of close to 30 stakeholders, to design a fully integrated transportation system. After several iterations the final plans where approved.

A scale one mockup was built to validate the overall ergonomic and basic design features (accessibility, loading and unloading time, etc.).

2- The second phase consisted of building a real prototype to validate the concept, the embedded technology and all operational requirements. This prototype was also used for testing and training purposes.

The final phase consists of manufacturing a series of 20 shuttles.

The main challenge of this project was to design the vehicle, considering all stakeholders needs while the receiving infrastructure was being built. Indeed, a large number of stakeholders were involved in this project in order to make sure that all the safety and aesthetic requirements were met.


This project serves as a notable contribution to sustainable development. Having decided to build an indoor electric transportation system, the Calgary Airport has eliminated GHG and particulate emissions (such as NOx) found in conventional means of transport like outdoor diesel buses.

The current transportation system did not replace an existing polluting transportation system but rather avoided the implementation of conventional buses as it would normally be the preferred option. Therefore, the avoided emissions are the equivalent of the emissions of 10 conventional 40-ft diesel buses of an outdoor transportation system.

The project has many other benefits in sustainable development because it largely promotes electric mobility. Moreover during the building phase of the vehicles, more than 20 local suppliers were involved in the supply chain.

Potential for scaling up

This transportation system is customized for one of the major airports in Canada. It already has a respectable size and will allow the transportation of up to 7 million passengers per year.

The next step for the vehicle building team is to develop autonomous electric shuttle for other multi-stakeholder project in North America.

This kind of transportation system requires minimal infrastructure and can be deployed quickly and easily in many points of interest like cities, parks, airports, etc.

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North-America (Calgary, Canada)


February 2014


October 2016


North America, Mitigation, Technology, Passenger


PIT Group (A group of FPInnovations) in partnership with: - Précicad - Deutschman Design - Kargo - IVI (Innovative Vehicle Institute)


Frédéric Faulconnier: Project Manager 514-782-4502

“The compact transit system is scalable and flexible so it can adapt depending on the demand of passengers.” Ivonne Gamboa Director Connectivity Program, Calgary Airport