Winnipeg Airport Guide
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Your Complete Guide to Winnipeg Airport

Winnipeg Airport, with the IATA code of YWG, is officially known as the James Armstrong Richardson International Airport, in honour of an influential businessman and pioneer of Canadian commercial aviation. The airport of Winnipeg is rated as the eighth busiest in Canada, handling approximately 3.39 million passengers per annum, and is also one of the eight airports of the country equipped with US border preclearance facilities. The airport is found just a few kilometres west of the city centre.

The YWG airport is located in the Canadian province of Manitoba, which is to the east of Saskatchewan and to the west of Ontario. To the south of Manitoba are the states of North Dakota and Minnesota, which are part of the United States of America. The larger cities nearby to Winnipeg include Brandon, Regina, Thunder Bay and Grand Forks, while closer and smaller areas include Selkirk, Steinbach, Winkler and Portage la Prairie. The airport of the city is very nearby to the downtown district, however, is still one of few airports in Canada that is allowed to offer flights 24-hours a day, and operates under no restrictions. The airport is close by to Tyndall Park, Weston and Saskatchewan North, as well as St. James Industrial and Omand’s Creek Industrial. The physical address of the airport can be noted as 2000 Wellington Avenue, Winnipeg, MB.

Although Winnipeg Airport today consists of very modern facilities, it began as a small establishment in 1928. It had just a tiny cabin and one hangar of about 3.6 metres wide. The site was opened by the Winnipeg Flying Club. However, it was not long before the air field’s facilities started to rapidly improve. A club-house was built, The Royal Canadian Air Force became a presence and in 1930 Western Canada Airways provided services for passengers and mail delivery. This airline company was the first major carrier to use the ‘airport’. In 1931, the airport became international with the arrival of Northwest Airways (now known as Northwest Airlines), who offered mail and passenger services to North Dakota. A number of further improvements were made before the Second World War, including the addition of three hard-surface runways, a RCAF hangar and four civil aviation hangars. The airfield was also chosen as the headquarters of the new, national airline, Trans-Canada Air Lines (TCA).

The Second World War brought another surge of activity to the airport, however, its real growth started once the war came to an end. TCA added another two airlines to its fleet, a new runway was built and new instrument landing systems were installed. The ‘terminal’ building was also expanded with a new area for ticket counters, baggage systems and boarding points. The original buildings eventually began to be replaced in 1960. Stevenson Field, as it was first known, officially became Winnipeg International Airport in 1958, and in 2006, the airport was named in honour of James Armstrong Richardson.

Over the recent years, Winnipeg Airport has seen many improvements. A new terminal building was opened at the end of October, 2011, and a new access road was completed in 2006 along with a new car park located directly opposite the terminal. The new terminal was also selected as one of the most iconic airport buildings in the world by Travel Channel. In 2009, the Winnipeg Bus Terminal was opened, and nearby the airport a new Canada Post processing facility was built. Current constructions include a new luxury hotel directly opposite the main terminal building and an office building between the existing hotel and new car park.

The main terminal of Winnipeg International Airport is served by the majority of the airport’s airline companies, which include Air Canada, Air Canada Express, Air Transat, Bearskin Airlines, SkyWest Airlines and Compass Airlines (operated by Delta Connection), First Air, Sunwing Airlines, United Express (operated by Express Jet Airlines) and WestJet. Most of these carriers offer flights to local destinations, such as Vancouver, Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton, London (ON), Ottawa, Montreal, Hamilton, Regina, Saskatoon and Thunder Bay, but a few have regular flights to cities in the United States that include Phoenix, Las Vegas, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Chicago and Denver. Flights are also offered to Montego Bay, Cancun, Puerto Vallarta, Punta Cana, San Jose del Cabo and Varadero.

Another two smaller terminal buildings are also found on the airport grounds, and are used by Perimeter Aviation and Kivallig Air, two airline companies for which the airport is a hub. They operate smaller aircraft that do not need the facilities of the main terminal, and fly to areas such as Brandon, Dauphin, Garden Hill, Gods River, Norway House, Sandy Lake, St. Theresa Point, Tadoule, Thompson, York Landing and Sanikiluag. Calm Air is another airline that uses Winnipeg Airport as a hub location, and Air Canada Express and WestJet see the airport as a focus city. A few charter airlines present at the airport are Flair Airlines, Keystone Air Service and CanJet.

Passengers have access to a large number of facilities at Winnipeg Airport, as well as options for ground transportation. There is a Maple Leaf Lounge operated by Air Canada in the domestic departures area, foreign currency exchange booths, ATMs, two duty-free stores, free Wi-Fi connections, a chapel and a children’s play area. There are also several restaurants, such as Tim Hortons, Red Wok and Salisbury House, and shops that sell newspapers, toys, novelty items, gifts, chocolate, liquor and golfing equipment. Information booths are also available, and the entire airport complex is accessible to disabled passengers. To reach the airport, or to travel from it passengers can choose a taxi, private shuttle service or the public bus routes 15 and 20. A taxi will cost between $15.00 and $18.00 for a trip into the city centre. Passengers who prefer to travel privately can rent a car from one of the Winnipeg International Airport car hire companies, or may park their own vehicle in the Parkade or in the Economy Lot.

Information for Winnipeg Airport is available at (204) 987-9402.