Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport

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Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport
Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport (logo).svg
Winnipeg International Airport arrivals hall.jpg
Arrivals hall at Winnipeg International Airport
WMO: 71852
Airport type Public
Owner Transport Canada[1]
Operator Winnipeg Airports Authority (DND)
Serves Winnipeg, Manitoba
Hub for
Time zone CST (UTC−06:00)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC−05:00)
Elevation AMSL 783 ft / 239 m
Coordinates 49°54′36″N 097°14′24″W / 49.91000°N 97.24000°W / 49.91000; -97.24000Coordinates: 49°54′36″N 097°14′24″W / 49.91000°N 97.24000°W / 49.91000; -97.24000
CYWG is located in Manitoba
Location in Manitoba
Direction Length Surface
ft m
13/31 8,701 2,652 Asphalt
18/36 11,000 3,353 Asphalt
Statistics (2013/2014)
Aircraft movements (2013) 125,266
Number of Passengers (2014) 3,669,797
Sources: Canada Flight Supplement[2]
Environment Canada[3]
Movements from Statistics Canada[4]
Passenger statistics from Winnipeg Airports Authority[5]

Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport (also known as Winnipeg International Airport or simply Winnipeg Airport) (IATA: YWGICAO: CYWG) is an international airport located at 2000 Wellington Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. It is the seventh busiest airport in Canada by passenger traffic, serving 3.7 million passengers in 2014,[5] and the 11th busiest airport by aircraft movements.[4] It is a hub for passenger airlines Calm Air and Perimeter Airlines, and cargo airline Cargojet.

An important transportation hub for the province of Manitoba, Winnipeg International Airport is the only commercial international airport within the province as the other airports of entry serve domestic flights and general aviation only.[2] The airport is operated by the Winnipeg Airport Authority as part of Transport Canada's National Airports System[6] and is one of eight Canadian airports that has US Border Pre-clearance facilities. The airport is co-located with CFB Winnipeg, and its primary lodger unit is 17 Wing. The base is home to 402 "City of Winnipeg" Squadron, 435 "Chinthe" Transport and Rescue Squadron and the Yellowknife based 440 "Vampire" Transport & Rescue Squadron.

Winnipeg's relatively isolated geographical location in relation to other major population centres[7] makes Winnipeg International Airport the primary international airport for a very large area. As such, it is used as a gateway to the entire Province of Manitoba and large parts of neighbouring Provinces and Territories.[8] Daily non-stop flights are operated from Winnipeg International Airport to major cities across Canada, the USA, the Caribbean, and Mexico. In addition, regularly scheduled flights to numerous small remote communities in the northern regions of Canada, specifically Northern Manitoba, Northwestern Ontario, and Nunavut, are also served from the airport.[9]


Airline check-in counters at Winnipeg International Airport

The airport opened in 1928 as Stevenson Aerodrome in honour of the noted Manitoba aviator and pioneer bush pilot, Captain Fred J. Stevenson. Stevenson Aerodrome, also known as Stevenson Field, was Canada's first international airport. In 1958, at the request of the Canadian Department of Transport, Stevenson Field was officially renamed Winnipeg International Airport.

The original main terminal building was built in 1964, and was designed by the architectural firm of Green Blankstein Russell and Associates (subsequently GBR Associates and Stantec Limited). It was expanded and renovated in 1984 by the architectural firm of IKOY, and a hotel was built across from the terminal in 1998. The original main terminal building, which was closed on Sunday October 30, 2011 and has since been demolished, was an example of modernist international style architecture.

On December 10, 2006, the Minister of Transport, Lawrence Cannon, announced Winnipeg International Airport was to be renamed Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport in honour of the influential businessman and pioneer of Canadian commercial aviation from Winnipeg.[10]


Main Terminal[edit]

Winnipeg's main airport terminal was designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects and Stantec.[11] The terminal's design was inspired by the City of Winnipeg's distinctive landscape and the province of Manitoba's vast prairies and sky.[12] It is the first airport terminal in Canada to be LEED-certified for its environmentally friendly concept, design, construction and operation.[13] The terminal was constructed in two phases, with construction beginning in 2007 and ending on October 30, 2011 when it was officially opened to the public.[14][15] Prior to the opening of the current main terminal building, a multi-level access road and four-level, 1,559 stall parkade were both opened in November 2006. All airlines serving Winnipeg International Airport operate at the main terminal building, with the exception of Perimeter Aviation and Kivalliq Air.

The Winnipeg Bus Terminal was opened beside the main terminal building on August 15, 2009,[16] and a Canada Post mail processing facility was opened at the airport site on June 4, 2010.[17] Two luxury hotels as well as an office building are located on site, adjacent to the main airport terminal.

Other terminal buildings[edit]

Perimeter Aviation is a regional airline that operates its own small, exclusive terminal building at Winnipeg International Airport to facilitate its passenger, cargo and charter services. Perimeter Aviation does not use the main terminal building due to its varied operations to small remote communities throughout Northern Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario using small propeller aircraft, with which regular airport terminal services (jet bridge, catering, etc.) are unnecessary and can actually be a hindrance to day-to-day operations.

The Perimeter Aviation terminal building is located 2.6 km south of the main terminal building.

Passenger services[edit]

Domestic/International departure gate area at YWG

Winnipeg Airport's main terminal building features several food and retail outlets. Salisbury House, Gondola Pizza, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, Bentley, Toad Hall Toys, PGA Tour shop, Metalsmiths Sterling, CNBC News, Red River News, Starbucks, Upper Crust, Fuel Bar and Red Wok are all located post security in the departures area. Stella's Cafe and Bakery, and Red River News are both located pre-security next the check-in area. Harvey's fast food restaurant and a Liquor Mart Express are both located pre-security in the arrivals area. T.G.I. Friday's has been replaced by Prairie Bistro in the domestic departures area, and by Urban Crave in the USA departures area.[18] Other restaurants are to be added. Tim Horton's coffee shops are located pre-security in the arrivals area, as well as post security in both the domestic and USA departures area.

The airport is served by two duty-free stores, both located post security. ATMs and foreign currency exchange booths are located throughout the airport. A valet parking service is provided curbside at the main terminal building.

Air Canada operates a Maple Leaf Lounge located in the domestic/international departures area.

Free WiFi is provided by the Winnipeg Airports Authority throughout the entire terminal building.

CentrePort Canada[edit]

Richardson International Airport is included in a new 20,000-acre (81 km2) inland port area created by provincial legislation – CentrePort Canada Act, C.C.S.M. c. C44 – that will offer investment opportunities for distribution centres, warehousing and manufacturing.[19] CentrePort Canada will allow companies to take advantage of the cargo capabilities of Richardson International Airport, as well as serviced land, a mid-continent location and highway and rail transport.

On April 14, 2009, Prime Minister Stephen Harper with Premier Gary Doer announced at James Richardson that both the Federal and Provincial governments will contribute $212.5 million towards a divided four lane expressway to be called CentrePort Canada Way. It will link Inkster Boulevard to the Perimeter Highway on the north side of the CP Rail Glenboro subdivision parallel to Saskatchewan Avenue to attract new transportation logistics associated development to the city area west and Rosser Municipality northwest of the airport.

Airlines and destinations[edit]

Passenger airlines and destinations[edit]

Air Canada Embraer 190 aircraft at YWG
USA departure gates at Winnipeg International Airport
TGI Friday's and Upper Crust restaurants post-security inside YWG terminal.
Domestic/International departure gates at Winnipeg airport terminal
Salisbury House, Red Wok, and Gondola Pizza restaurants across from departure gates
Airlines Destinations Terminal
Air Canada Montréal–Trudeau, Toronto–Pearson, Vancouver
Seasonal: Cancún, Montego Bay
Air Canada Express Calgary, Edmonton, Montréal–Trudeau, Ottawa, Regina, Saskatoon, Thunder Bay Main
Bearskin Airlines Dryden, Fort Frances, Red Lake, Sioux Lookout, Thunder Bay Main
Air Transat Seasonal: Cancún, Puerto Vallarta, Punta Cana Main
Calm Air Arviat, Baker Lake, Chesterfield Inlet, Churchill, Flin Flon, Gillam, Rankin Inlet, Sanikiluaq, The Pas, Thompson, Whale Cove Main
Delta Connection Minneapolis/St. Paul Main
First Air Rankin Inlet
Seasonal: Iqaluit
Perimeter Aviation Berens River, Brandon, Brochet, Cross Lake, Dauphin, Garden Hill, Gods Lake Narrows, Gods River, Lac Brochet, Norway House, Oxford House, Pikangikum, Red Sucker Lake, St. Theresa Point, Sachigo Lake, Shamattawa, Sandy Lake, South Indian Lake, Sioux Lookout, Tadoule Lake, Thompson, York Landing Perimeter
Sunwing Airlines Seasonal: Cancún, Cayo Coco/Cayo Guillermo, Santa Clara, Freeport, Holguín, Huatulco, Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo, Montego Bay, Orlando, Puerto Vallarta, Punta Cana, San Jose del Cabo, Varadero Main
United Express Chicago–O'Hare, Denver Main
WestJet Calgary, Edmonton, Las Vegas, Montréal–Trudeau, Ottawa, Toronto–Pearson, Vancouver
Seasonal: Cancún, Fort Lauderdale, London (ON), Montego Bay, Orlando, Palm Springs, Phoenix, Puerto Vallarta, San José del Cabo
WestJet Encore Regina, Saskatoon, Thunder Bay Main

Cargo airlines and destinations[edit]

Airlines Destinations
Suburban Air Freight Minneapolis/St. Paul
Cargojet Airways Calgary, Edmonton, Hamilton, Iqaluit, Vancouver, Montréal-Mirabel, Regina, Saskatoon, Thunder Bay
FedEx Express Columbus-Rickenbacker, Memphis
FedEx Express
operated by Morningstar Air Express
Calgary, Edmonton, Thunder Bay, Toronto–Pearson
SkyLink Express Regina, Saskatoon
UPS Airlines Minneapolis/St. Paul, Omaha

Ground transportation[edit]

Winnipeg Transit runs bus routes 15 and 20 that serve the airport. A taxi and limousine stand is located just outside the main terminal building. The Winnipeg Bus Terminal, used as a hub by Greyhound and other inter-city bus lines, is located beside the main terminal building. The Brandon Air Shuttle, providing transportation between Winnipeg Airport and Manitoba's second largest city, Brandon, is located just outside of the main terminal building. All major car rental agencies can be found on the arrivals level inside the parkade across from the main terminal.


Winnipeg International Airport has a single station with 3 crash tenders providing fire and rescue services at the airport.[20]

Incidents and accidents[edit]

  • On July 23, 1983, Air Canada Flight 143 (now known as the Gimli Glider), a Boeing 767 trying to reach Winnipeg, as an alternate was forced to make an emergency landing in Gimli, Manitoba after running out of fuel. No one was injured. This incident was the subject of the book, Freefall, by William Hoffer and the subsequent TV movie, Falling from the Sky: Flight 174, starring William Devane.
  • On March 3, 2007, British Airways Flight BA289, a Boeing 747 flying from London Heathrow Airport to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, made an unscheduled landing at Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport after a passenger became unruly when he was refused alcohol. The passenger was charged with mischief, causing a disturbance and failing to comply with instructions from the flight crew. The aircraft sat on the tarmac for two hours before resuming its trip to Phoenix.[21]
  • On June 19, 2007, a Northwest Airlines Boeing 747 cargo plane en route from Wilmington, Ohio to Anchorage, Alaska made an emergency landing at Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport after reporting a fire inside the airplane. No one was injured. After cleanup, an unrelated engine problem forced the 747 to remain in Winnipeg, leaving a week later on three engines.[22]
  • On October 9, 2009, United Airlines Flight 6648 from Denver landed and was taxiing when it skidded off into the grass due to blowing snow at the airport which caused poor visibility. All 35 passengers and crew were safe but the airport had to close one of two runways due to the incident. It took 18 hours to remove the airliner from the snow. In a separate incident the same evening, an Air Canada Jazz aircraft reported hitting a number of birds shortly after takeoff. The crew turned back to Winnipeg and landed safely. An initial investigation found minor damage on the Air Canada aircraft.[23]
  • On October 25, 2010, a United Airlines Boeing 777 made a successful emergency landing in the afternoon after the pilots reported smoke in the cockpit. The flight was from Chicago en route to Shanghai. Everyone on board was fine.[24]
  • On May 9, 2013, a Boeing 777-300ER, Cathay Pacific Flight 806 from Hong Kong to Chicago, made an emergency landing at Winnipeg due to a possible cargo hold fire. The plane landed safely, and ultimately no fire was found on board.[25]



  1. ^ "Airport Divestiture Status Report." Transport Canada. Retrieved: April 1, 2012.
  2. ^ a b Canada Flight Supplement. Effective 0901Z 24 July 2014 to 0901Z 18 September 2014
  3. ^ "Synoptic/Metstat Station Information." Retrieved: April 1, 2012.
  4. ^ a b "Total aircraft movements by class of operation – NAV CANADA towers." Stats Canada. Retrieved July 19, 2012.
  5. ^ a b 2005–2014 "Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson Passenger Statistics." Winnipeg Airports Authority. Retrieved: February 25, 2015.
  6. ^ "National Airports Policy." Transport Canada. Retrieved: April 1, 2012.
  7. ^ [1]
  8. ^ Schlesinger, Joel. "Port on the Prairies: Supply-chain economics key to becoming international trade hub." Winnipeg Free Press, May 17, 2009. Retrieved December 30, 2011.
  9. ^ "Airlines>" Winnipeg Airports Authorities. Retrieved April 1, 2012.
  10. ^ "Canada's New Government Renames Winnipeg International Airport in Honour of James Armstrong Richardson." Winnipeg Airport Authorities, Press release. Retrieved April 1, 2012.
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^ "Winnipeg's new airport terminal opens." CBC News, October 30, 2011. Retrieved October 31, 2011.
  15. ^ Carl, Julie. "Airport sneak peek delights." Winnipeg Free Press, October 9, 2011. Retrieved October 31, 2011.
  16. ^ "SkyscraperPage Forum." Retrieved: April 1, 2012.
  17. ^ "Canada Post announces new state-of-the-art plant to be built at the airport." Winnipeg Airports Authority. Retrieved: April 1, 2012.
  18. ^,article/702/new-restaurants-coming-to-winnipeg-richardson-international-airport
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^ "Aircraft diverted." Winnipeg Sun, March 5, 2007.
  22. ^ "Warning signal forces cargo plane to land." Winnipeg Free Press Online Edition, June 19, 2007.
  23. ^ "Airplane runway delays." Retrieved November 23, 2009.
  24. ^ "Plane makes emergency landing in Winnipeg after pilot reports smoke in cockpit." CTV. Retrieved: April 1, 2012.
  25. ^ "Passengers from diverted flight to leave Winnipeg Thursday night" Winnipeg Free Press. Retrieved: May 10, 2013.


  • Canada's Airports: Reinvention & Success. Ottawa-Macdonald-Cartier: Insight Media commissioned by the Canadian Airports Council (CAC), 2005.

External links[edit]