Stephenville International Airport

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Stephenville International Airport
Stephenvilleairport logo.png
Stephenville2.jpg
IATA: YJTICAO: CYJT
WMO: 71815
Summary
Airport type Public
Operator Stephenville Airport Corporation
Serves Stephenville, Corner Brook, Port Aux Basques
Location Stephenville, Newfoundland and Labrador
Time zone NST (UTC−03:30)
 • Summer (DST) NDT (UTC−02:30)
Elevation AMSL 81 ft / 25 m
Coordinates 48°32′29″N 058°33′00″W / 48.54139°N 58.55000°W / 48.54139; -58.55000Coordinates: 48°32′29″N 058°33′00″W / 48.54139°N 58.55000°W / 48.54139; -58.55000
Website www.cyjt.com
Map
CYJT is located in Newfoundland and Labrador
CYJT
CYJT
Location in Newfoundland and Labrador
Runways
Direction Length Surface
ft m
02/20 3,959 1,207 Asphalt/Concrete
09/27 11,011 3,356 Asphalt
Statistics (2010)
Aircraft movements 2,164
Sources: Canada Flight Supplement[1]
Environment Canada[2]
Movements from Statistics Canada.[3]

Stephenville International Airport (IATA: YJTICAO: CYJT) is an airport located 1.5 nautical miles (2.8 km; 1.7 mi) southeast of Stephenville, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. It was built by the United States Air Force and operated as Ernest Harmon Air Force Base from 1941-1966.

The airport serves not only the town of Stephenville, but the city of Corner Brook to the north, and as far south as Port aux Basques, making the total catchment 90,000 people.

The airport is classified as an airport of entry by NAV CANADA and is staffed by the Canada Border Services Agency.

Catchment[edit]

Stephenville International Airport provides scheduled and charter air service to a catchment population of approximately 90,000 people, from the city of Corner Brook 65 km to the north to the town of Port aux Basques 120 km (75 mi) to the south.

History[edit]

In 1941 the United States obtained rights to construct a United States Army Air Forces base in the St. George's Bay area of Newfoundland. The U.S. 76th Congress approved the 99 year lease and in April 1941, construction began.

The USAAF base was originally referred to as Stephenville Air Base. However after the USAAF became the United States Air Force in 1947, it was renamed Ernest Harmon Air Force Base on June 23, 1948, in honour of Captain Ernest Emery Harmon. Harmon was a US Army Air Corps ace who was killed in an air crash in 1933.

On September 1, 1943, the Newfoundland Base Command transferred control of Harmon Field to the North Atlantic Wing, Air Transport Command. The base became a part of the Northeast Air Command in October, 1950. Then in April 1957, the Strategic Air Command assumed control.

Airport ramp & terminal building

The mandate of the base was to maintain a tanker alert force and its capability to meet and refuel Strategic Air Command jet bombers en route to targets. The KC-97 Stratotanker was employed in this task.

The base was also used as a refueling stop for transatlantic military flights. In addition, Harmon supported three Air Defense Command units. In 1957, the Canadian Department of Transportation constructed an airport terminal to accommodate Trans-Canada Air Lines (now Air Canada). 1966 saw the closure of the U.S. Air Force Base in Stephenville.

The airport is now owned and operated by the local Airport Authority, the Stephenville Airport Corporation Inc. Stephenville Airport was officially designated as an alternate in the Trans Oceanic Plane Stop (TOPS) program on 23 July 1970.

Since the late 1990s, Stephenville has been designated as one of five Canadian airports suitable as an emergency landing site for the Space Shuttle.[4]

The Stephenville International Airport was the major passenger airport for all of western Newfoundland until the early 1990s when provincial government decided to more traffic to the Deer Lake Regional Airport. All major carriers used Stephenville such as Air Canada, Eastern Provincial Airlines and Canadian Airlines.

In 1970 the airport was designated by international scheduled air transport and for international general aviation regular use.

Future development plans[edit]

The Newfoundland and Labrador government's new plan, called Taking Flight, hopes to enhance air travel in the province by working closely with airports and airlines. For the airlines, if they create a new route the government can give it up to $750,000 to help promote that route.

In addition, a group local to the Bay St. George area, consisting of concerned citizens and business people with experience in various levels of the tourism/transportation industry have been gathering support via a Facebook group called; "Land Porter Airlines in Stephenville, YJT" in an effort to illustrate the demand for increased air service at Stephenville International Airport. The specific intent of the group is to attract Porter Airlines and add service to Halifax and/or Toronto (likely via Halifax due to the use of shorter range Q400 aircraft which make up Porter's fleet).[5]

The market served by the airport, has for years been rallying for an all year air service to mainland Canada. Most airlines have turned a blind eye on the airport as many watch nearby Deer Lake airport continue to grow. This catchment of 90,000 people is eager to support a carrier that will give their airport a chance to directly play a part in the aviation trade of Canada, as it did for 50 years.

Operation Yellow Ribbon[edit]

On September 11, 2001, 8 civilian airliners made unscheduled landings at the Stephenville Airport following the closure of North American airspace in the wake of the terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington, DC. An unwitting participant in Operation Yellow Ribbon, the town managed to host the near 3,000 stranded passengers, which lasted for approximately one week.

Airlines and destinations[edit]

Airlines Destinations
Air Saint-Pierre Seasonal Charter: August & February each year, twice weekly Saint-Pierre [6]
Provincial Airlines Deer Lake (NL), St. John's
Sunwing Airlines Summer Seasonal: Toronto-Pearson

Services[edit]

Stephenville Airport in 1963

Alternate space shuttle landing site[edit]

Stephenville Airport was one of a five sites along eastern North America designated as an alternate landing site for the Space Shuttle orbiter during its launches and landings.[7]

References[edit]

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

  1. ^ Canada Flight Supplement. Effective 0901Z 6 February 2014 to 0901Z 3 April 2014
  2. ^ Synoptic/Metstat Station Information
  3. ^ Total aircraft movements by class of operation
  4. ^ NASA Shuttle Monitoring
  5. ^ http://troubadour.cna.nl.ca/2011/10/27/stephenville-group-courts-porter-airlines/
  6. ^ tours
  7. ^ Chris Lambie. Halifax possible shuttle pit stop, The Chronicle Herald, July 5, 2006.

External links[edit]