John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport

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John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport

Aéroport international John C. Munro d'Hamilton
John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport Logo.png
YHM entrance in May 2019.jpg
Airport typePublic
OwnerCity of Hamilton[1]
OperatorTradePort International Corporation
ServesGreater Toronto and Hamilton
LocationHamilton, Ontario, Canada
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 (2020)
Aircraft movements31,077
Number of passengers267,243

John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport (IATA: YHM, ICAO: CYHM) is an airport of entry in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. The airport is part of the neighbourhood of 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 adjacent areas of Southern Ontario, including the Greater Toronto Area. It is considered as a reliever for Toronto Pearson International Airport. The airport is named after John Carr Munro, a longtime Member of Parliament for the electoral riding of Hamilton East.

The airport opened in 1940 as Mount Hope Airport, which was primarily a Royal Canadian Air Force base, the history of which is reflected at the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum located next to the airport. 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 in the United States, the Caribbean and Mexico. Regular services to the United States declined 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 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. Although no longer designated an international airport by Transport Canada,[6] it is classified as an airport of entry by Nav Canada and is staffed by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and can handle aircraft with up to 220 passengers or 400 if in stages.[7] As Canada's fourth largest cargo airport (after Toronto–Pearson, Vancouver and Montréal–Trudeau)[8] and Canada's "largest overnight express cargo airport,"[9] Hamilton handles large cargo operations with aircraft such as the Boeing 747 or Antonov An-124.


Early history[edit]

Map of the airport

Hamilton's first airport was the Hamilton Municipal Airport or Civic 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.[10]

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.[11] 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.[11] 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.[12] The consortium consisted of WestPark Developments, Vancouver Airport Authority and TradePort International Corporation Ltd., a subsidiary of Vantage Airport Group, which manages 10 airports.[13]

From 2000 to 2010[edit]

In 2000 WestJet expanded to Canada's eastern region, choosing Hamilton as the airline's eastern region hub,[11] 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.[14] 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.[11] 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.[15]

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.

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. In 2018, ultra-low-cost carriers including Swoop, Flair Airlines, Canada Jetlines chose Hamilton as a hub for service to the Greater Toronto region. Flair Airlines later shifted operations to Toronto-Pearson in mid-2018 and Air Canada Express again ended its service to Montreal in early-2019. From March to September 2019, Norwegian Air Shuttle operated flights to Dublin, bringing transatlantic service to Hamilton for the first time in over a decade,[16][12][17] but ceased operations citing Boeing 737 MAX groundings.[18]

During the COVID-19 pandemic in Ontario, Hamilton airport saw 60% reduction in passenger services over the year 2020 while peak levels of cargo operations were maintained.[19] The airport was a key entry point for imported medical supplies into the country, including Canada's first shipment of the Pfizer–BioNTech vaccine which landed on December 14, 2020 from Cologne, Germany by UPS Airlines.[20]

Secondary airport for Toronto[edit]

Since the 1970s, Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) and the Government of Canada planned a second international airport for Toronto in Pickering, Ontario to act as an official relief airport for Toronto-Pearson. Supporters of the plan argued that Hamilton is too far from Toronto to be a reliever, while the opposers pointed out that relief airports for Logan International Airport in Boston (T. F. Green State Airport and Manchester-Boston Regional Airport), for example, are farther from Downtown Boston than Hamilton Airport 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.[21] 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.[22]

Airlines and destinations[edit]


Air Transat Seasonal: Cancún (begins December 20, 2021), Cayo Coco (begins December 15, 2022), Puerto Plata (begins December 13, 2022), Punta Cana (begins December 19, 2021), Varadero (begins December 13, 2022)
Sunwing Airlines Seasonal: Cancún (begins December 12, 2021),[23] Cayo Coco (begins December 12, 2021),[23] Montego Bay (begins December 11, 2021),[23] Punta Cana (begins December 10, 2021),[23] Santa Clara (begins December 10, 2021),[23] Varadero (begins December 11, 2021)[23]
Swoop Abbotsford, Edmonton, Halifax, Winnipeg
Seasonal: Cancún,[24] Kelowna, Montego Bay,[25] Orlando/Sanford, Puerto Vallarta,[26] St. Petersburg/Clearwater[27]
WestJet Calgary


Cargojet Airways Atlanta, Calgary, Cincinnati, Cologne/Bonn, Edmonton, Havana, Halifax, Iqaluit, Lima, London-Heathrow, Miami, Moncton, Montréal–Mirabel, Newark, New York-JFK, Ottawa, Rankin Inlet, Vancouver, Winnipeg [28]
Castle Aviation Akron/Canton, Cleveland
DHL Aviation Cincinnati
SkyLink Express Kingston, Louisville, Muskoka, New York–JFK, North Bay, Sault Ste. Marie, Sudbury, Windsor
UPS Airlines Louisville



Hamilton has experienced significant volatility in its passenger traffic numbers. The airport met its peak at 1,041,204 passengers in 2003, when it was a hub for WestJet for a year before moving operations to Toronto-Pearson.[29] Between 2016 and 2019, passenger numbers again increased close to a million passengers as more low-cost carriers began service at the airport. Passenger numbers sharply declined in 2020 after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.[30]

Annual passenger traffic at YHM airport. See source Wikidata query.
Annual passenger traffic[31][32]
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%
2019 955,373 Increase 32%
2020 329,193 Decrease -66%


With about 25% of the annual cargo tonnage of Canada's busiest cargo airport Toronto-Pearson, Hamilton is a major Canadian cargo airport. It has consistently ranked as the third or fourth busiest cargo airport in Canada over the last decade behind only Toronto-Pearson, Vancouver and, since 2017, Montréal–Trudeau. With around 70% of Hamilton's cargo tonnage being domestic cargo it has consistently ranked as the third busiest domestic cargo airport in Canada behind Vancouver and Toronto.[33]

Annual cargo tonnage (metric tonnes) [33][34]


The airport is located near Highway 6, which provides access to Hamilton International Airport from other nearby municipalities, including Toronto, via Highway 403. King Shuttle is a bus operator that provides scheduled service from the airport to Toronto Pearson International Airport and Toronto Union Station.[35] The Hamilton Street Railway (HSR) operates bus route 20 A-Line Express, a limited-stop weekday service, from the airport to Hamilton GO Centre.[36]

Megabus formerly operated a daily scheduled coach bus service between the airport and the Toronto Coach Terminal between 2019 and 2020.[37]

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. Near North Aviation (NNA) is a flight school based at Parry Sound airport with a base at the Jetport facilities in Hamilton.[38]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Our History". Archived from the original on 2018-06-29. Retrieved 2018-06-29.
  2. ^ a b Canada Flight Supplement. Effective 0901Z 16 July 2020 to 0901Z 10 September 2020.
  3. ^ Synoptic/Metstat Station Information Archived 2013-06-27 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "Aircraft movements, by class of operation and peak hour and peak day of movements, for airports with NAV CANADA towers, monthly". Stats Canada. Retrieved April 26, 2020.
  5. ^ "Air passenger traffic at Canadian airports, annual". Retrieved 2021-09-12.
  6. ^ Advisory Circular (AC) No. 302-032 Subject: Designation of international airports in Canada
  7. ^ Hamilton CBSA Office/John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport
  8. ^ "Canadian cargo airports by weight". Statista. Retrieved 23 August 2021.
  9. ^ Laura Clementson. "Cargo plane makes emergency landing in Hamilton". CBC. Archived from the original on 2018-04-17. Retrieved 2018-04-18.
  10. ^ Geocaching. "Geocaching - The Official Global GPS Cache Hunt Site". Archived from the original on 2017-09-08. Retrieved 2017-09-08.
  11. ^ a b c d Arnold, Steve (2016-02-04). "Air Canada to launch Hamilton-Montreal service in May". Hamilton Spectator. Archived from the original on 2016-11-22. Retrieved 2016-11-22.
  12. ^ a b "Growth of low-cost airlines giving boost to secondary airports in Canada - The Star". Archived from the original on 2018-06-29. Retrieved 2018-06-29.
  13. ^ "Our History - Hamilton International Airport". Archived from the original on 2018-06-29. Retrieved 2018-06-29.
  14. ^ Jang, Brent (19 June 2008). "Fuel prices force Jazz to pull out of Hamilton". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 23 August 2021.
  15. ^ Hamilton International 2004 Airport Master Plan Update Archived 2011-07-16 at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ Norwegian flights. "Flights to Dublin from Hamilton". Norwegian. Archived from the original on 2018-06-21. Retrieved 2018-06-21.
  17. ^ "Norwegian Air Selects Hamilton International for First Canadian Transatlantic Service - Vantage". Archived from the original on 2018-06-29. Retrieved 2018-06-29.
  18. ^ "Norwegian Airlines to end flights between Hamilton and Europe in September". Global News. August 13, 2019. Retrieved September 8, 2019.
  19. ^ Rankin, Christine (19 October 2020). "Hamilton International Airport operating at Christmas-peak levels of cargo throughout pandemic". CBC News. Retrieved 23 August 2021.
  20. ^ Tsekouras, Phil (14 December 2020). "Ontario administers first doses of COVID-19 vaccine in Toronto". CTV News. Retrieved 23 August 2021.
  21. ^ Calis, Kristen (4 January 2018). "Potential airport is Pickering's newsmaker of 2017". Archived from the original on 29 June 2018. Retrieved 29 June 2018.
  22. ^ Marowits, Ross (25 June 2018). "Growth of low-cost airlines giving boost to Canada's biggest secondary airports". Archived from the original on 29 June 2018. Retrieved 29 June 2018.
  23. ^ a b c d e f "Sunwing offers residents of the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area more departure options this winter with convenient flights from Hamilton". Sunwing Travel Group. June 2021. Retrieved June 23, 2021.
  24. ^ "Cancun to Hamilton". Google Travel. Retrieved 23 August 2021.
  25. ^ "Hamilton to Montego Bay". Google Travel. Retrieved 23 August 2021.
  26. ^ "Hamilton to Puerto Vallarta". Google Travel. Retrieved 23 August 2021.
  27. ^ "Swoop Announces Three New Destinations Ahead of Third Anniversary". 16 June 2021. Retrieved 23 August 2021.
  28. ^ "Network". Cargojet. Retrieved 19 June 2021.
  29. ^ "WestJet shifts operations to Toronto from Hamilton". Retrieved 2020-01-18.
  30. ^ Craggs, Samantha. "Hamilton airport getting closer to long-promised goal of 1M passengers". Retrieved 2020-01-18.
  31. ^ Passenger Traffic. "Facts & Figures YHM". Archived from the original on 2017-09-01. Retrieved 2018-06-24.
  32. ^ "Hamilton International celebrates three years of unprecedented growth". Retrieved January 24, 2020.
  33. ^ a b Statistics Canada. "Air Cargo Traffic at Canadian Airports, Annual". Retrieved 2020-01-18.
  34. ^ John C. Munro International Airport. "Hamilton International celebrates three years of unprecedented growth". Retrieved 2020-02-05.
  35. ^ Sandra says. "New daily shuttle service runs from Hamilton airport to Toronto". CHCH. Archived from the original on 2019-03-23. Retrieved 2019-04-05.
  36. ^ "PDF Bus Schedules". Archived from the original on 2018-11-11. Retrieved 2018-11-18.
  37. ^ "New bus will connect Hamilton's airport to Toronto". CBC News. Mar 15, 2019. Archived from the original on March 23, 2019. Retrieved Apr 5, 2019.
  38. ^ "Golden Horseshoe Aviation". Archived from the original on 30 March 2017. Retrieved 29 March 2017.

External links[edit]

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