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Science & Tech

Surprising facts about Canadian airports

How much do you know about the places that deliver us to the sky?
  • Jul 06, 2016
  • 288 words
  • 2 minutes
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Gander, N.L. is a city that was built on aviation when Gander International Airport first opened its doors 80 years ago. The airport has its fair share of sobering milestones, including its first crash in December 1940 and its first bomb scare in August 1957. However, it also has a rich history of some rather quirky events, including the documentation of a cat—newly landed from Iraq—loose on the airport’s runway.

You can read more about Gander in the July/August 2016 issue of Canadian Geographic, but it’s not the only interesting airport in Canada. Here are some fascinating facts about other Canadian airports.

  1. Vancouver International Airport currently houses the largest collection of Northwest Coast Native art in the world.
  2. Chris Hadfield, the first Canadian to walk in space, has an airport named after him in Sarnia, Ont.
  3. In 2014, Halifax Stanfield International Airport made history by being the first airport in North America to offer self-serve baggage drop.
  4. Airbus A380 — the world’s largest passenger airliner — was cold tested at the Iqaluit International Airport in 2006.
  5. Toronto’s Pearson Airport is the busiest in Canada and the fourth busiest in North America.
  6. Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport is Canada’s longest serving international airport, and the only major international airport between Toronto and Calgary.
  7. The Pelee Island Airport — renamed the Whelan International Airport in 2014 in honour of long-time MP Senator Eugene Whelan — is the southernmost airport in Canada.
  8. Calgary International Airport has the longest runway in Canada — about 4.3 kilometres long.
  9. Edmonton’s City Centre Airport was Canada’s first licensed airfield, and was officially shut down in 2013.
  10. According to StatsCan, the Peterborough Airport in Ontario is Canada’s busiest small airport.

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