Erik Nielsen Whitehorse International Airport

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Erik Nielsen Whitehorse International Airport
Whitehorse/Erik Nielsen International Airport
Whitehorse Airport, Yukon Territory.jpg
WMO: 71964
Airport type Public
Owner/Operator Government of Yukon[1]
Location Whitehorse, Yukon
Hub for
Time zone PST (UTC−08:00)
 • Summer (DST) PDT (UTC−07:00)
Elevation AMSL 2,317 ft / 706 m
Coordinates 60°42′34″N 135°04′02″W / 60.70944°N 135.06722°W / 60.70944; -135.06722Coordinates: 60°42′34″N 135°04′02″W / 60.70944°N 135.06722°W / 60.70944; -135.06722
CYXY is located in Yukon
Direction Length Surface
ft m
01/19 1,798 548 Asphalt
14R/32L 9,500 2,896 Asphalt
14L/32R 4,018 1,225 Asphalt
Statistics (2010)
Aircraft movements 30,624

Erik Nielsen Whitehorse International Airport (IATA: YXYICAO: CYXY) is located in Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada. It is part of the National Airports System, and is operated by the Government of Yukon. The airport was renamed in honour of longtime Yukon Member of Parliament Erik Nielsen on December 15, 2008.[5] The terminal handled 294,000 passengers in 2012, representing a 94% increase in passenger traffic since 2002.[6]

Built between 1940 and 1941 by the federal Department of Transport, it was transferred to the RCAF in 1942 as part of the Northwest Staging Route under the name of RCAF Station Whitehorse. It closed in 1968 and resumed the status as a civilian airport.[7]

The airport is classified as an airport of entry by NAV CANADA and is staffed by the Canada Border Services Agency. CBSA officers at this airport currently can handle aircraft with no more than 50 passengers; however, they can handle up to 225 if the aircraft is unloaded in stages.[2][8]

Terminal building

The airport has two fixed base operator for fuel, limited aircraft maintenance facilities. The control tower operates from 7 a.m. – 9 p.m. local time, and the Whitehorse Flight Service Station provides Airport Advisory Service during the remaining hours. ARFF services are also provided 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

In addition to scheduled commercial service, numerous small air charter operators and bush pilots use the airport and it serves as a major base for water bombers used in forest firefighting operations. The airport also controls Whitehorse Water Aerodrome, a float plane base on Schwatka Lake.

Whitehorse is also a major stopover point for private flyers who make the trip to and from Alaska.

During the September 11, 2001 attacks, two aircraft approaching the United States from Asia were diverted to Whitehorse as part of Operation Yellow Ribbon. One of these flights, a Boeing 747 operating as Korean Air Lines Flight 85, was feared to be hijacked; however, this was not the case as the jumbo jet was low on fuel. Many of the buildings in the downtown area near the airport were evacuated as a precaution. Those who witnessed the landing by the Korean Air 747 observed the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) order the flight crew out at gunpoint.

The airport's parking lot is graced by an old Canadian Pacific Airlines Douglas DC-3 on a pedestal that serves as a weather vane. A new addition to the terminal is in the process[when?] of being built. It will help alleviate congestion with international flights.

Airlines and destinations[edit]

Airlines Destinations
Air Canada Seasonal: Vancouver
Air Canada Express Vancouver
Air North Calgary, Dawson City, Edmonton, Inuvik, Kelowna, Old Crow, Ottawa,[9] Vancouver, Yellowknife[9]
Seasonal: Fairbanks
Charter: Las Vegas, Victoria
Condor Seasonal: Frankfurt
WestJet Seasonal: Vancouver[10]

Air North, a scheduled passenger and cargo airline operating Boeing 737-200, 737-400 and 737-500 jetliners as well as Hawker Siddeley 748 turboprops, is based in Whitehorse.[11]


The airport has its own fire department with 3 crash tenders and 1 supervisor vehicle based at a fire station within the airport grounds.[12]

See also[edit]


 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Air Force Historical Research Agency.

External links[edit]