Halifax Stanfield International Airport

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Halifax Stanfield International Airport
Halifax Stanfield International Airport Logo.svg
Halifax airport 2009.jpg
Arrivals portion of the terminal building.
WMO: 71395
Airport type Public
Owner Transport Canada[1]
Operator Halifax International Airport Authority
Serves Halifax Regional Municipality, Nova Scotia
Location Enfield, Nova Scotia
Built 1960
Time zone AST (UTC−04:00)
 • Summer (DST) ADT (UTC−03:00)
Elevation AMSL 477 ft / 145 m
Coordinates 44°52′47″N 063°30′37″W / 44.87972°N 63.51028°W / 44.87972; -63.51028Coordinates: 44°52′47″N 063°30′37″W / 44.87972°N 63.51028°W / 44.87972; -63.51028
Website http://www.hiaa.ca
CYHZ is located in Nova Scotia
Direction Length Surface
ft m
05/23 10,500 3,200 Asphalt/Concrete
14/32 7,700 2,347 Asphalt
Statistics (2013/2014)
Aircraft movements (2013) 83,347
Number of Passengers (2014) 3,663,039
Sources: Canada Flight Supplement[2]
Environment Canada[3]
Passengers and Movements from Halifax International Airport Authority.[4]

Halifax/Robert L. Stanfield International Airport,[5] or Halifax Stanfield International Airport[6] (IATA: YHZICAO: CYHZ) is a Canadian airport located in Enfield, Nova Scotia, a community within Halifax, Nova Scotia.[7] It serves Halifax and mainland Nova Scotia as well as adjacent areas in the neighbouring Maritime provinces. The airport is named in honour of the Robert Stanfield, the 17th Premier of Nova Scotia and leader of the federal Progressive Conservative Party of Canada.

The airport, owned by Transport Canada since it was constructed, and operated since 2000 by the Halifax International Airport Authority (HIAA), forms part of the National Airports System. The airport hosts the headquarters of Chorus Aviation and CanJet.

It is the 8th busiest airport in Canada by passenger traffic. The airport handled a total of 3,663,039 passengers in 2014 and 83,347 aircraft movements in 2013.[4] It is a hub for Air Canada Express, Cougar Helicopters, Maritime Air Charter, Provincial Airlines, CanJet, and SkyLink Express.



An airfield in West End, Halifax on the Halifax Peninsula known as Chebucto Field was built as the Halifax Civic Airport by the City of Halifax in 1931 and operated as the city's main airport until 1942, when it closed and was converted to an army base. Today Saunders Park, named after the first Halifax airport manager, marks the site. RCAF Station Shearwater functioned as Halifax's primary airport until June 1960, when the current airport was opened. The Kelly Lake site was chosen in 1954 after an elaborate search for suitable location. The land was purchased by the City of Halifax while the federal Department of Transport constructed the airport.[8] A key factor was to find a site near Halifax with a minimal number of days per year when fog would affect airport operation. There is a continuing myth that the tree cutting that was required to construct the airport altered the fog patterns, however a weather analysis of the 1960-2008 period would show that this is, indeed, an "urban" myth. The origin of the myth may come from commuters, who may experience very localized fog near the airport during their morning drive along Highway 102.

Operation Yellow Ribbon[edit]

Further information: Operation Yellow Ribbon

Following the September 11 attacks the airport was part of Operation Yellow Ribbon, as it took 40 flights—more flights than any other Canadian airport involved in the operation—carrying about 7,300 passengers—more passengers than any other Canadian airport involved in the operation other than Vancouver, which registered 8,500.[9][10] Much of this was because flights that were coming from Europe were told to avoid the major airports in Central Canada, like Toronto Pearson, Montréal-Dorval, and Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport.[9]

To honour the people of Gander and Halifax for their support during the operation, Lufthansa named a new Airbus A340-300 "Gander-Halifax" on May 16, 2002. That airplane is listed with the registration D-AIFC,[11] and is the first aircraft of the whole fleet with a city name outside of Germany.


On September 9, 2005, the main passenger terminal was renamed in honour of Robert Stanfield, the former Premier of Nova Scotia and federal Leader of the Official Opposition, with a plaque placed on the public observation floor. On Friday February 9, 2007 Prime Minister Stephen Harper arrived at the airport and officially announced the renaming of the entire facility from 'Halifax International Airport' to 'Halifax Robert L. Stanfield International Airport' in a further honour to Mr. Stanfield; at that time the terminal name was dropped and reverted to its original status.


Halifax Airport fared well in the 2005 AETRA survey for passenger satisfaction, produced by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and Airports Council International. The airport was ranked the best airport in the Americas for the second year in a row, as well as the best airport in the less than 5 million passengers a year category for the third year in a row (worldwide), and best domestic service for the second year in a row.

In March 2007, Halifax Airport earned two first-place finishes in the 2006 Airports Council International (ACI) Service Quality Awards held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. For the fourth consecutive year, it ranked first in overall passenger satisfaction for airports worldwide with under five million passengers. In addition, the airport ranked first in the Americas in the new category of Airport People Awards, and second in the best domestic airport worldwide category.[12]

In early 2010, Halifax Stanfield was rated by passengers as the Best Airport in the World in its class (under 5 million) for the seventh year in a row.

In 2011 it won 3rd Best Airport in North America of the Airport Service Quality Awards by Airports Council International,[13] as well as 3rd Best Airport by Size in the 2 to 5 million passenger category.[14]


View of apron from top observation room
WestJet Boeing 737 loading passengers
Food court
Flight Check In Area

Terminal and renovations[edit]

The airport terminal building at the airport was originally opened in September, 1960. It currently serves over 3.5 million passengers per year and growing. The growth experienced in the decades since the airport's construction necessitated constant renovations, and there is often construction occurring there.

Since 1998, the airport has been undergoing an extensive renovation program. The latest phase was announced in September 2004. The major multi-year expansion project include a rehabilitation of the runways and taxiways, new terminal expansions, new parking lots (including an enclosed garage), a new hotel, and internal beautifications including an observation tower. The project was slated to cost over $250 million.

In December 2004, U.S. Customs and Border Protection approved Halifax Airport for United States border preclearance. It took effect in late 2006. HIAA was previously the busiest airport in Canada without U.S. Customs preclearance.

On September 12, 2007 the airport authority announced the construction of a 2,300 space, 5-storey parking garage, which was completed on March 12, 2009. The airport authority also announced an on-site 175-room Sheraton hotel, which has since been postponed due to financial considerations. On October 26, 2011 the airport authority announced the construction of an on-site 14-storey, 169-room, ALT Hotel connected to the terminal building. Built by Groupe Germain Hospitality,opened in spring 2013.

The current terminal contains a total of 31 gate positions, with 12 using airbridges (gates 12, 14-16, 18, 20, 22-24, and 26-28). The remaining gates are ground loading positions. Gates 22-24, and 26-28 are swing gates which can service domestic flights and then be converted to receive incoming international flights via a glassed-in secure corridor from the holdroom for international flight operations. Gates 2 (a-e) to 9 are ground loading positions dedicated to domestic regional operations (mainly Air Canada Express). Gates 34 to 46 are ground loading gate positions for US flights operating regional jets. An August 2010 press release indicated that part of the Airport's 10 year capital improvement program would see the expansion of the Domestic/International Check-in area and expansion of the Terminal Building at the north end in anticipation of additional flights from EU nations.

In 2010, extension of the taxiway system resulted in an increased airside area, thus creating space for several large hangars to be built. Canadian Helicopters, Cougar Helicopters, Gateway Facilities and IMP Group operate these new hangars along taxiways juliet and kilo.

In November 2012, an extension of both ends of runway 05/23 was completed, for an overall increase in length from 8,800 ft (2,682 m) to 10,500 ft (3,200 m). This increase resulted in the renaming of several associated taxiways.


The airport is served by several Fixed Base Operators (FBOs), which handle fueling, ground handling, hangarage, catering, etc. They include Esso Avitat, Shell AeroCentre, and Gateway Facilities.

Aerotech Business Park[edit]

The airport is located adjacent to the Aerotech Business Park, a municipally run business park originally catering towards aviation companies. The zoning has since been changed to allow for other types of companies to locate there. The largest tenant is Pratt & Whitney Canada.

Alternate space shuttle landing site[edit]

Halifax Airport was one of the handful of sites along eastern North America where the Space Shuttle could have landed if something went wrong during liftoff.[15]

Other facilities[edit]

Headquarters of Jazz Aviation

The airport hosts the headquarters of Jazz Aviation.[16] In addition it also houses an office of Provincial Airlines.[17]

Emergency services[edit]

RCMP Airport Detachment provides policing at the airport and a onsite fire services provides airport fire services with 6 airport tenders/pumpers.

Airlines and destinations[edit]

The airport terminal soon after construction in 1960.
Arrivals Hall
Departure area and shops, summer 2007
Left downwind for Runway 32

Scheduled airlines and destinations[edit]

Airlines Destinations
Air Canada London–Heathrow, Montréal–Trudeau, Ottawa, St. John's, Toronto–Pearson
Seasonal: Cancún, Cayo Coco, Fort Lauderdale,[18] Montego Bay, Orlando, Puerto Plata, Punta Cana, Samaná, Santa Clara, Tampa, Varadero
Air Canada Express Boston, Charlottetown, Deer Lake, Fredericton, Gander, Goose Bay, Moncton, Montréal–Trudeau, Ottawa, St. John's, Saint John, Sydney (NS)
Air Canada Rouge Seasonal: Calgary (begins May 1, 2015)[19]
Air Saint-Pierre Saint-Pierre
Air Transat Seasonal: Cancún, Cayo Coco, Holguin, London–Gatwick, Montego Bay, Orlando, Puerto Plata, Punta Cana, Santa Clara, Varadero
Canadian North Seasonal: Iqaluit, St. John's
Charter: Sydney (NS)
Condor Seasonal: Frankfurt
Delta Connection New York–LaGuardia (ends August 31, 2015)
Seasonal: Atlanta, Detroit
Europe Airpost Seasonal: Dublin, Paris-Charles de Gaulle (begins July 9, 2015)[20]
Icelandair Seasonal: Reykjavík–Keflavík
Porter Airlines Montréal–Trudeau, Ottawa, St. John's
Seasonal: Stephenville[21]
Provincial Airlines Charlo
Sunwing Airlines Seasonal: Cancun, Cayo Coco, Freeport (Bahamas),[22] Holguin, Montego Bay, Orlando, Puerto Plata, Punta Cana, St. Petersburg/Clearwater, Varadero
United Express Newark
Seasonal: Washington–Dulles
US Airways Express Philadelphia
WestJet Calgary, Edmonton, St. John's, Toronto–Pearson
Seasonal: Cancún, Fort Lauderdale, Glasgow–International (begins May 29, 2015),[23] Hamilton, Montego Bay, Orlando, Ottawa, Punta Cana, Tampa
WestJet Encore Deer Lake (begins July 15, 2015),[24] Gander (begins July 15, 2015),[24] Sydney (NS) (begins July 15, 2015)[24]
Seasonal: Ottawa (begins July 15, 2015),[24] St. John's (begins July 15, 2015)[24]


Halifax is served by the following cargo airlines:

Airlines Destinations
Cargojet Airways Hamilton, Moncton, St. John's
FedEx Express operated by
Morningstar Air Express
Purolator Courier operated by
Kelowna Flightcraft Air Charter
Hamilton, Moncton
SkyLink Express Charlottetown, Moncton, St. John's, Saint John, Sydney (NS)

Charter companies[edit]

The following companies operate out of private hangars or FBOs at the airport:

Public transportation[edit]

MetroX municipal bus service operates hourly from the city centre to the airport. The 320 bus originates on Albemarle Street in Downtown Halifax and terminates curbside, adjacent to the entrance of the arrivals level of the terminal.

Atlantic Canada Aviation Museum[edit]

The nearby Atlantic Canada Aviation Museum includes both military and civil aviation exhibits.

Incidents and accidents[edit]

  • On the night of September 2, 1998 Swissair Flight 111, a scheduled flight from New York City to Geneva, declared a pan-pan after the crew noticed smoke in the cockpit. The flight crew attempted to divert to Halifax after dumping fuel, but crashed into the sea at the entrance of St. Margarets Bay, Nova Scotia, about 60 km from the airport. All 229 passengers and crew perished.
  • On October 14, 2004 MK Airlines Flight 1602, a Boeing 747-200F, crashed during takeoff from runway 23. All seven crew members died.[25]
  • On the morning of June 14, 2013 a Cargojet Airways Boeing 757 was being unloaded by a 58-year-old male baggage handler, who became trapped by the hydraulic loader and died on scene.[26]
  • On the morning of March 29, 2015, Air Canada Flight 624 crashed while attempting to land at the airport, shortly after midnight in stormy weather. All 137 passengers and crew survived the crash. The crash caused a loss of power to the airport.


  1. ^ Airport Divestiture Status Report
  2. ^ Canada Flight Supplement. Effective 0901Z 24 July 2014 to 0901Z 18 September 2014
  3. ^ Synoptic/Metstat Station Information
  4. ^ a b hiaa.ca - Airport Statistics
  5. ^ Canada's New Government Renames Halifax International Airport in Honour of Robert L. Stanfield
  6. ^ Halifax Stanfield International Airport
  7. ^ "Map." Halifax Regional Municipality. Retrieved on March 2, 2011.
  8. ^ "History of the Halifax International Airport", Halifax International Airport Authority
  9. ^ a b "NAV CANADA and the 9/11 Crisis". NAV CANADA. 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-19. 
  10. ^ "Airport Acknowledges Tenth Anniversary of September 11th". Halifax/Stanfield International Airport Newsroom. September 9, 2011. Retrieved September 10, 2011. 
  11. ^ D-AIFC at airliners.net
  12. ^ World’s top customer service airports for 2006
  13. ^ "ASQ Award for Best Airport in North America" Airports Council International. 14 February 2012. Retrieved 2012-04-13
  14. ^ "ASQ Award for Best Airport by Size (2-5m)" Airports Council International. 14 February 2012. Retrieved 2012-04-13
  15. ^ Chris Lambie. Halifax possible shuttle pit stop, The Chronicle Herald, July 5, 2006.
  16. ^ "Contact Us." Jazz Aviation. Retrieved on May 19, 2009. "Head Office 310 Goudey Drive Halifax Stanfield International Airport Enfield, Nova Scotia, B2T lE4"
  17. ^ "Contact Information." Provincial Airlines. Retrieved on December 4, 2011. "Halifax Office: Halifax International Airport 647 Barnes Road Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada B2T 1K3" - French: "Aéroport International de Halifax 647 route Barnes Halifax, Nouvelle-Écosse B2T 1K3 Canada"
  18. ^ http://finance.yahoo.com/news/air-canada-introduces-halifax-fort-103000533.html;_ylt=A2KJ2PZa4PlRfWgApMDQtDMD
  19. ^ Air Canada Makes Strategic Enhancements to its North American Network starting Spring 2015; New services to Terrace, Nanaimo, Comox, Halifax, Austin and Mexico City.
  20. ^ http://www.rte.ie/news/business/2015/0126/675665-new-route-linking-dublin-to-nova-scotia-canada/
  21. ^ newswire.ca - Porter introduces new summer route between Stephenville and Halifax
  22. ^ sunwing.ca - Sunwing Announces New Direct Flights to Grand Bahama this Winter
  23. ^ http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/westjet-adds-halifax-glasgow-flight-to-transatlantic-push/article20907980/ Westjet adds Halifax-Glasgow flight to transatlantic push
  24. ^ a b c d e westjet.mediaroom.com - Don't let the "West" in WestJet fool you
  25. ^ Canadian Transportation Safety Board Report
  26. ^ [1]

External links[edit]