St. John's International Airport

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St. John's International Airport
Airport type Public
Owner Transport Canada[1]
Operator St. John's International Airport Authority Inc.
Serves St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador
Location St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador
Time zone NST (UTC−03:30)
 • Summer (DST) NDT (UTC−02:30)
Elevation AMSL 461 ft / 141 m
Coordinates 47°37′07″N 052°45′09″W / 47.61861°N 52.75250°W / 47.61861; -52.75250Coordinates: 47°37′07″N 052°45′09″W / 47.61861°N 52.75250°W / 47.61861; -52.75250
Transport Canada airport diagram
Transport Canada airport diagram
CYYT is located in Newfoundland and Labrador
Location in Newfoundland and Labrador
Direction Length Surface
ft m
02/20 5,028 1,533 Asphalt
11/29 8,502 2,591 Asphalt
16/34 7,005 2,135 Asphalt
Statistics (2014)
Aircraft movements 44,484
Passengers 1,600,000

St. John's International Airport (IATA: YYTICAO: CYYT) is in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. It is an international airport located at the northern limits of St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador that serves the St. John's Metro Area and the Avalon Peninsula. The airport is part of the National Airports System, and is operated by St. John's International Airport Authority Inc.[2]

The airport is classified as an airport of entry by Nav Canada and is staffed by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). CBSA officers at this airport can handle aircraft with no more than 165 passengers. However, they can handle up to 450 if the aircraft is unloaded in stages.[2]


World War II[edit]

Concern was expressed in the Canadian Parliament as early as September 1939 for the security of Dominion of Newfoundland (which was not yet a part of Canada) in the event of a German raid or attack.[6] It was felt that a permanent airfield defence facility was needed and as a result discussions were carried out among Canada, Newfoundland and the United Kingdom during 1940. In late 1940 the Canadian Government agreed to construct an air base near St. John's.[6] Early in 1941, Canadian Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King informed Newfoundland Governor Sir Humphrey T. Walwyn of the intended location in Torbay.[6] Newfoundland agreed, but stipulated that Canada was to assume all expenses and that the aerodrome not be used for civil purposes without first receiving Newfoundland's permission. The Canadian Government agreed, and in April 1941 McNamara Construction Company began construction on the runway.[6] At a cost of approximately $1.5 million, a pair of runways, taxiways, aprons, hangars and other facilities were built and in operation by the end of 1941. The Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) officially opened Torbay Airport on December 15, 1941.[6] It was jointly used by the RCAF, Royal Air Force (RAF), and the United States Army Air Corps until December 1946.[6]

On October 18, 1941, three American B-17 Flying Fortress and one RCAF Digby made the first unofficial landings on the only serviceable runway available.[6] Later that month a British Overseas Airways Corporation B-24 Liberator en route from Prestwick, Scotland, to Gander, made the first sanctioned landing during a weather emergency.[6] The first commercial air service at the facility went into operation on May 1, 1942 with the arrival at Torbay of a Trans-Canada Air Lines Lockheed Lodestar aircraft with five passengers and three crew. The first terminal building at the site was constructed in 1943. The small wooden structure was replaced by a larger brick building in 1958.[6]

Post war[edit]

Although the airfield was not used as much as Argentia, Gander, Stephenville and Goose Bay airports in the movement of large numbers of aircraft to England, it was still quite busy.[6] The Royal Air Force had its own squadron of fighters, surveillance and weather aircraft stationed there. The RCAF personnel strength on the station during the peak war years was well over 2000. Through an agreement between the US, Canadian and Newfoundland governments early in 1947, the United States Air Force (USAF) took over the use of the airport facilities and used about ten of the airport buildings.[6] The US Military Air Transport Service (MATS) needed Torbay Airport in order to complete its assigned mission at that time. Maintenance of the airport and facilities was done by the Canadian Department of Transport.[6]

On April 1, 1946, the airport became a civilian operation under the jurisdiction of the Canadian Department of Transport. Confusion was caused by the presence of American military personnel at a civilian airport operated by the Canadian government in a foreign country.[6] Consequently, on 1 April 1953 control was returned to the Department of National Defence. On April 15, 1953 the RCAF Station at Torbay was reactivated and RCAF personnel started to move in and to provide the necessary administration and operation of the facility to support the mission of its co-tenant, the USAF.[6] In early 1954 a rental agreement was signed between the USAF and the RCAF, and the USAF acquired use of additional buildings.[6]

The control tower constructed during the war burned down in an extensive fire on March 17, 1946, which caused $1.5 million worth of damage.[6] Construction was not begun on a new tower until 1951; it was opened in June 1952. A new Tower/Communications Building replaced that structure in March 1976.[6] The tower was equipped with radio navigation and landing aids including precision approach radar, non-directional beacon and VHF omni-directional range.[6]

The Transport Department maintained control over the terminal building. The facility remained RCAF Station Torbay until April 1, 1964, when it was returned to the jurisdiction of the Transport Department under the name St. John's Airport.[6]

St. John's Airport is still[when?] commonly[clarification needed] referred to as "Torbay" within the aviation community. For example[examples needed] in aeronautical radio communications, air traffic controllers, flight dispatchers and pilots refer to the weather in "Torbay" and in flight clearances controllers commonly[clarification needed] clear aircraft to or over St. John's with the phrase "Cleared direct Torbay"[citation needed]. In the latter case this is a clearance to the VOR (VHF beacon) serving the region, which continues[when?] to be named Torbay on all official aeronautical charts.[examples needed]. In addition to tradition, this usage avoids confusion with Saint John, New Brunswick, also in Atlantic Canada. Additionally the "T" in airport codes CYYT and YYT continues to reflect the Torbay origin.

Terminal and renovations[edit]

In 1981 the terminal building housed the offices of the airport manager and staff. There were ticket offices for Eastern Provincial Airways, Air Canada, Gander Aviation and Labrador Airways, a large waiting area, a secure departure lounge, a self-serve restaurant, a licensed lounge, a number of food concessions and car rental facilities.[6] In 1981 a small museum was prepared to house the story of aviation in Newfoundland and related memorabilia.[6]

The airport underwent a $50 million renovation in 2002. The air terminal was completely renovated, expanded and modernized by architect John Hearn to meet the standards of other airport terminals its size across North America. The airport has undergone more renovations since then and plans are in place to prepare 300 acres (1.2 km2) of land to build an industrial park adjacent to the airport.[7][8]

The airport was designated as one of five Canadian airports suitable as an emergency landing site for the Space Shuttle orbiter.

Airlines and destinations[edit]


Terminal at St. John's Airport, May 2014
Air Canada Express CRJ705 getting ready to depart for Halifax
Provincial Airlines Dash-8 Sunset landing
Airlines Destinations
Air Canada Halifax, London–Heathrow, Montréal–Trudeau, Toronto–Pearson
Air Canada Express Deer Lake, Gander, Goose Bay, Halifax, Montréal–Trudeau, Ottawa
Air Saint-Pierre Saint-Pierre
Air Transat Seasonal: Orlando, Punta Cana
Porter Airlines Seasonal: Halifax
Provincial Airlines Gander, Deer Lake, St. Anthony, Goose Bay
Sunwing Airlines Seasonal: Cancun, Cayo Coco, Montego Bay, Toronto–Pearson, Varadero
WestJet Halifax, Orlando, Toronto–Pearson
Seasonal: Calgary, Dublin, London–Gatwick, Ottawa, Tampa
WestJet Encore Halifax

Helicopter services[edit]

Airlines Destinations
Cougar Helicopters Hebron–Ben Nevis, Hibernia, SeaRose, Terra Nova

Fixed-base operators based at St. John's International Airport are Provincial Airlines[9] and Cougar Helicopters.

Fire and rescue[edit]

St. John's International Airport Emergency Services is responsible for fire and rescue needs at the airport. Apparatus and crew are housed in a single fire station is located within the Combined Services Building.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Airport Divestiture Status Report
  2. ^ a b c Canada Flight Supplement. Effective 0901Z 22 June 2017 to 0901Z 17 August 2017
  3. ^ Synoptic/Metstat Station Information
  4. ^ Total aircraft movements by class of operation — NAV CANADA towers
  5. ^ Airport Traffic Reports
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u "A History of the Airport". St. John's International Airport. Retrieved 2011-01-28. 
  7. ^ "Ready for Takeoff St. John's airport preps for another expansion". The Telegream. Retrieved 2011-01-28. 
  8. ^ "Airport planning business park". The Telegram. Retrieved 2011-01-28. 
  9. ^ "Contact Information." Provincial Airlines. Retrieved on December 4, 2011. "Head Office: St. John's International Airport RCAF Road, Hangar #4 P.O. Box 29030 St. John's, NL Canada A1A 5B5" - French: "Aéroport International de St. John’s Route RCAF,Hangar nº 4 Case postale 29030 St. John's,Terre-Neuve A1A 5B5 Canada"
  10. ^ Emergency Response & Security | St. John's International Airport

External links[edit]