John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport

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John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport
John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport Logo.png
Hamilton International.JPG
Airport typePublic
OwnerCity of Hamilton[1]
OperatorTradePort International Corporation
ServesHamilton, Ontario
Hub for
Time zoneEST (UTC−05:00)
 • Summer (DST)EDT (UTC−04:00)
Elevation AMSL780 ft / 238 m
Coordinates43°10′25″N 079°56′06″W / 43.17361°N 79.93500°W / 43.17361; -79.93500Coordinates: 43°10′25″N 079°56′06″W / 43.17361°N 79.93500°W / 43.17361; -79.93500
CYHM is located in Ontario
Location in Ontario
Direction Length Surface
ft m
06/24 6,010 1,832 Asphalt
12/30 10,006 3,050 Asphalt
Statistics (2018)
Number of Passengers725,630 Increase 21.1%
Sources: Canada Flight Supplement[2]
Environment Canada[3]
Movements from Statistics Canada[4]
Passengers from Hamilton Airport[5]

John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport (IATA: YHM, ICAO: CYHM) is an international airport located in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. The airport is situated in Mount Hope, 6 nautical miles (11 km; 6.9 mi) southwest of Downtown Hamilton and 64 km (40 mi) southwest of Toronto.[2] The airport serves the city of Hamilton and the adjacent Greater Toronto Area, acting as a reliever for Toronto Pearson International Airport. The now-defunct British airline Flyglobespan once referred to the airport as Toronto Hamilton International Airport.[6]

The airport opened in 1940 as Mount Hope Airport, which was primarily a Royal Canadian Air Force base. The end of World War II saw the closure of the base, and its conversion to civil use attracted regional and international passenger services with connections to major Canadian cities and seasonal destinations. Regular services to the U.S. ceased as nearby Buffalo Niagara International Airport gained popularity for cross-border travellers in the region, but Hamilton remained an important base for a number of domestic and transatlantic low-cost carriers.

Hamilton is designed for use by large airplanes on overseas flights, and includes a 10,006 ft × 200 ft (3,050 m × 61 m) asphalt runway with centreline lighting for low-visibility operations, and a smaller 6,010 ft × 150 ft (1,832 m × 46 m) asphalt runway. It is classified as an airport of entry by Nav Canada and is staffed by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). As Canada's "largest overnight express cargo airport,"[7] Hamilton handles large cargo operations with aircraft such as the Boeing 747 or Antonov An-124. The Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum is located adjacent to the airport.


Early history[edit]

Map of the airport

Hamilton's first airport was the Hamilton Municipal Airport at Reid Avenue North and Dunsmure Road (site of Roxborough Park) in 1929. It began as the home to the Hamilton Aeroclub. The Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) became a major user of the airport in the 1930s, but the airport closed in the 1950s to make way for residential development.[8]

In 1940, Mount Hope Airport was opened and became the site of RCAF Station Hamilton. During World War II, the field hosted two units for the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan: first, No. 10 Elementary Flying Training School (later moved to RCAF Station Pendleton) using the De Havilland Tiger Moth and Fleet Finch, then No. 33 Air Navigation School using the Avro Anson. After the war, the airport gradually shifted towards civil use, until the military ceased using it as a base for Air Reserve operations in 1964.

From 1969 to 1985, Nordair offered jet service from Hamilton to Montreal, Grand Bahama Island and Windsor.[9] City Express flew to Montreal and Ottawa for three months in 1985. Tempus Air offered same route as City Express from 1986 to 1988. USAir began service to Pittsburgh in 1987. By 1988, Pan Am Express flew to New York City and Nationair flew to London, England. Pan Am Express and Nationair stopped their operations at Hamilton in the following year. Canadian Partner began service to Montreal and Ottawa in 1989.


Canadian Partner's service to Montreal and Ottawa ended in 1991.[9] In the same year, Pem-Air and Air Laurentian offered service to Ottawa but both airlines stopped the route in 1993. Northwest Airlink offered flights to Detroit from 1992 to 1993. There was no scheduled passenger service until Greyhound Air flew to Hamilton in 1996 before the company folded in 1997.

In 1996, Hamilton-Wentworth signed a contract with a private company to manage and operate it for 40 years.[10] The consortium consisted of WestPark Developments, Vancouver Airport Authority and TradePort International Corporation Ltd., a subsidiary of Vantage Airport Group, which manages 10 airports.[11]

From 2000 to 2010[edit]

In 2000 WestJet expanded to Canada's eastern region, choosing Hamilton as the airline's eastern region hub,[9] and flying to destinations from Newfoundland and Labrador to British Columbia. Continental Airlines also offered service to Cleveland in 2000 but stopped in the same year. In April 2004, seeking to compete with Air Canada for business travellers, WestJet moved its eastern hub from Hamilton to Toronto Pearson International Airport. While Hamilton retained flights to many destinations, services between Hamilton and Montreal and Ottawa were ended. In the wake of the WestJet pullout, CanJet began service to Hamilton in 2003. Then in the spring of 2005, two weeks after Air Canada Jazz announced it would enter the local market with service from Hamilton to Montreal and Ottawa, CanJet announced a complete withdrawal from Hamilton. Citing high fuel prices, Air Canada Jazz withdrew its services from Hamilton airport to Montreal and Ottawa by 2008.[12] From 2007 to 2009, Flyglobespan offered seasonal service to the United Kingdom, including Liverpool, Manchester and Doncaster. In 2010, WestJet cut two-thirds of its flights out of Hamilton. The only remaining service by WestJet was one daily service to Calgary.[9] In 2015, Air Canada Rouge planned to begin daily service to Calgary by June 2015 but the launch was delayed and ultimately cancelled.

In 2007, YVR Airport Services (now Vantage Airport Group), which runs the Vancouver International Airport, took over 100 per cent ownership of TradePort International in a $13-million deal. In late 2007, Trade Port Co. and Citi Corp. bought land from the city of Hamilton to expand runway 06/24 to 9,000 ft (2,743 m). This was expected to happen sometime between 2015 and 2019.[13]

After 2010[edit]

Hamilton saw growth as Air Canada resumed daily flights to Montreal in 2016 via Air Canada Express and WestJet adding service to Edmonton, Halifax and Winnipeg.

Since the 1970s, Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) and the Government of Canada have planned a second international airport for Toronto in the neighbouring city of Pickering, Ontario to act as a reliever for Toronto-Pearson. Supporters of the plan argued that Hamilton is too far from Toronto to be a reliever, while the opposition argued that the reliever airports for Logan International Airport in Boston (T.F. Green State Airport in Providence, Rhode Island and Manchester-Boston Regional Airport in Manchester, New Hampshire) are used effectively despite being farther from the Boston city centre than Hamilton is from Downtown Toronto. In October 2017, the Pickering City Council supported the development of an airport in Pickering during its joint-bid with the rest of Greater Toronto to host Amazon HQ2. However, a GTAA report in December 2017 suggested that an airport in Pickering was not necessary at the moment and that Pearson can meet demand until 2037.[14]

In 2017, Hamilton experienced an 80 per cent increase in passengers, to 600,000, which was still well below its capacity of 3 million per year. It also remained Canada's top domestic cargo airport. In 2018, ultra-low-cost carriers including Flair Airlines, Canada Jetlines and Swoop chose Hamilton as a hub for service to the Greater Toronto region. Also in 2018, Norwegian Air Shuttle announced that it would offer direct service from Hamilton to Dublin starting in spring 2019, bringing transatlantic service to the airport for the first time in over a decade.[10][15] Hamilton charges 30 to 50 per cent lower fees to airlines than Pearson and its compact size makes travel quicker for passengers and allows aircraft to spend less time on the ground.[16] Flair Airlines ended services and shifted operations to Toronto Pearson in mid-2018.

Airlines and destinations[edit]


Air Canada Express Montréal–Trudeau (ends March 30, 2019)[17]
Air Transat Seasonal: Cancún, Cayo Coco, Puerto Plata, Punta Cana, Varadero
Norwegian Air Shuttle Dublin (begins March 31, 2019)[18]
Sunwing Airlines Seasonal: Punta Cana,[19] Varadero, Montego Bay
Swoop Abbotsford, Cancún, Edmonton, Fort Lauderdale, Halifax, Las Vegas, Orlando, Montego Bay, Winnipeg
Seasonal: Puerto Vallarta, Tampa[20]
WestJet Calgary


Cargojet Airways Calgary, Cincinnati, Cologne/Bonn, Edmonton, Halifax, Moncton, Montréal–Mirabel, Ottawa, St. John's, Vancouver, Winnipeg
Castle Aviation Akron/Canton, Cleveland
DHL Aviation Cincinnati
Purolator Courier Akron, Cincinnati, Columbus–Rickenbacker, Montréal–Mirabel, Halifax
SkyLink Express Kingston, Louisville, Muskoka, New York–JFK, North Bay, Sault Ste. Marie, Sudbury, Windsor
UPS Airlines Louisville


Annual Passenger Traffic[21]
Year Passengers % Change
2010 387,831 Steady
2011 332,659 Decrease 14.2%
2012 351,491 Increase 5.6%
2013 341,740 Decrease -2.8%
2014 332,378 Decrease -2.7%
2015 312,839 Decrease -5.9%
2016 333,368 Increase 6.7%
2017 599,146 Increase 80%
2018 725,630 Increase 21%

Ground transportation[edit]

The airport is located near Highway 6, which provides access to other nearby municipalities, including Toronto, via Highway 403. A private shuttle bus service operates from the airport to Toronto Pearson International Airport and Toronto Union Station.[citation needed] The Hamilton Street Railway (HSR) operates bus route 20 A-Line Express, a limited-stop weekday service, from the airport to Hamilton GO Centre.[22]

Aviation institutions[edit]

The aviation programs of Mohawk College have facilities at the airport. As of 2017 the learning facilities include an electricity lab, a hangar, airport apron and two classrooms. Golden Horseshoe Aviation (GHA) is a flight school based at the Jetport facilities.[23]

Accidents and incidents[edit]

See also[edit]

List of airports in the Greater Toronto Area


  1. ^ Our History
  2. ^ a b Canada Flight Supplement. Effective 0901Z 3 January 2019 to 0901Z 28 February 2019.
  3. ^ Synoptic/Metstat Station Information Archived 2013-06-28 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Aircraft movements, by class of operation, airports with NAV CANADA towers
  5. ^ "Hamilton International More Than Doubles Passenger Traffic In Just Two Years - Hamilton International Airport".
  6. ^ "Globespan flights to Hamilton".
  7. ^ Laura Clementson. "Cargo plane makes emergency landing in Hamilton". CBC.
  8. ^ Geocaching. "Geocaching - The Official Global GPS Cache Hunt Site". Retrieved 2017-09-08.
  9. ^ a b c d Arnold, Steve (2016-02-04). "Air Canada to launch Hamilton-Montreal service in May". Hamilton Spectator.
  10. ^ a b "Growth of low-cost airlines giving boost to secondary airports in Canada - The Star".
  11. ^ "Our History - Hamilton International Airport".
  12. ^ " Business".
  13. ^ Hamilton International 2004 Airport Master Plan Update Archived 2011-07-16 at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ Calis, Kristen (4 January 2018). "Potential airport is Pickering's newsmaker of 2017".
  15. ^ "Norwegian Air Selects Hamilton International for First Canadian Transatlantic Service - Vantage".
  16. ^ Marowits, Ross (25 June 2018). "Growth of low-cost airlines giving boost to Canada's biggest secondary airports".
  17. ^
  18. ^ Norwegian flights. "Flights to Dublin from Hamilton". Norwegian.
  19. ^ Sunwing flight. "Vacations".
  20. ^
  21. ^ Passenger Traffic. "Facts & Figures YHM".
  22. ^ "PDF Bus Schedules". Retrieved 2018-11-18.
  23. ^ "Golden Horseshoe Aviation". Retrieved 29 March 2017.
  24. ^ "Hamilton's airfield of dreams: an airport turns 75". The Hamilton Spectator. 2015-10-15. Retrieved 2016-01-27.

External links[edit]

Media related to John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport at Wikimedia Commons