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Erik Nielsen Whitehorse International Airport

Erik Nielsen Whitehorse International Airport
WMO: 71964
Airport type Public
Owner/Operator Government of Yukon[1]
Location Whitehorse, Yukon
Hub for Air North
Time zone PST (UTC−08:00)
 • Summer (DST) PDT (UTC−07:00)
Elevation AMSL 2,317 ft / 706 m
CYXY is located in Yukon
Direction Length Surface
ft m
01/19 1,798 548 Asphalt
14R/32L 9,500 2,896 Asphalt
14L/32R 4,018 1,225 Asphalt
Statistics (2014)
Aircraft movements 22,879

Erik Nielsen Whitehorse International Airport (ICAO: CYXY) is located in Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada. It is part of the National Airports System, and is operated by the Government of Yukon. The airport was renamed in honour of longtime Yukon Member of Parliament Erik Nielsen on December 15, 2008.[5] The terminal handled 294,000 passengers in 2012, representing a 94% increase in passenger traffic since 2002.[6]

Built between 1940 and 1941 by the federal Department of Transport, it was transferred to the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) in 1942 as part of the Northwest Staging Route under the name of RCAF Station Whitehorse. It was closed in 1968 and the airfield resumed its status as a civilian airport.[7]

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 50 passengers; however, they can handle up to 225 if the aircraft is unloaded in stages.[2][8]

Terminal building

The airport has two fixed base operator for fuel, limited aircraft maintenance facilities. The control tower operates from 7 a.m. – 9 p.m. local time, and the Whitehorse Flight Service Station provides Airport Advisory Service during the remaining hours. ARFF services are also provided 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

In addition to scheduled commercial service, numerous small air charter operators and bush pilots use the airport and it serves as a major base for water bombers used in forest firefighting operations. The airport also controls Whitehorse Water Aerodrome, a float plane base on Schwatka Lake.

Whitehorse is a major stopover point for private flyers who make the trip to and from Alaska.

During the September 11, 2001 attacks, two aircraft approaching the United States from Asia were diverted to Whitehorse as part of Operation Yellow Ribbon. One of these flights, a Boeing 747 operating as Korean Air Lines Flight 85, was feared to be hijacked; however, this was not the case as the jumbo jet was low on fuel. Many of the buildings in the downtown area near the airport were evacuated as a precaution. Those who witnessed the landing by the Korean Air 747 observed the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) order the flight crew out at gunpoint.

The airport's parking lot is graced by an old Canadian Pacific Air Lines Douglas DC-3 on a pedestal that serves as a weather vane. A new addition to the terminal is in the process of being built. It will help alleviate congestion with international flights.


  • Airlines and destinations 1
  • Historical airline service 2
  • Facilities 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

Airlines and destinations

Airlines Destinations
Air Canada Vancouver
Air North Calgary, Dawson City, Edmonton, Inuvik, Kelowna, Old Crow, Ottawa,[9] Vancouver, Yellowknife[9]
Charter: Las Vegas, Victoria
Condor Seasonal: Frankfurt
WestJet Seasonal: Vancouver[10]

Air North, a scheduled passenger and cargo airline operating Boeing 737-200, 737-400 and 737-500 jetliners as well as Hawker Siddeley 748 turboprops, is based in Whitehorse.[11]

Condor Airlines operates seasonal nonstop flights between Germany and Whitehorse with the Boeing 767-300ER jetliner which is the largest aircraft to serve the airport with scheduled passenger flights.[12]

Historical airline service

Commencing in the early 1940s, scheduled passenger service was operated by Fort St. John, British Columbia; Fort Nelson, British Columbia and Watson Lake, Yukon. Other destinations in the Yukon as well as Fairbanks, Alaska were also served by Canadian Pacific during the mid 1940s with these flights subsequently being discontinued.[14] CP Air served Whitehorse during the 1970s with Boeing 737-200 jetliners with direct, no change of plane flights to all of the above named destinations in Canada.[15][16] Other Canadian Pacific flights into the airport over the years were operated with such twin engine prop aircraft as the Lockheed Model 18 Lodestar, the Douglas DC-3, the Convair 240, and with the larger, four engine Douglas DC-6B prop aircraft and Bristol Britannia turboprops.[17] CP Air was subsequently acquired by Pacific Western Airlines with the combined air carriers then operating as Canadian Airlines International.

U.S.-based Pan American World Airways (Pan Am) served Whitehorse during the early 1960s as part of a route linking Seattle with Alaska. Pan Am operated Douglas DC-4 followed by Douglas DC-6B propliners into the airport on a routing of Seattle-Ketchikan-Juneau-Whitehorse-Fairbanks-Galena-Nome route.[18]

Several Alaska-based airlines also served Whitehorse in the past. During the 1970s, Wien Air Alaska operated Boeing 737-200 jetliners as well as Fairchild F-27 turboprops into the airport with Anchorage-Fairbanks-Whitehorse-Juneau routings.[19] Era Aviation operated Convair 580 turboprop aircraft nonstop between Anchorage and Whitehorse during the 1980s.[20]


The airport has its own fire department with three crash tenders and one supervisor vehicle based at a fire station on the airport grounds.[21]

See also


 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Air Force Historical Research Agency.

  1. ^ Airport Divestiture Status Report
  2. ^ a b Canada Flight Supplement. Effective 0901Z 24 July 2014 to 0901Z 18 September 2014
  3. ^ Synoptic/Metstat Station Information
  4. ^ Total aircraft movements by class of operation — NAV CANADA towers
  5. ^ "Yukon names airport after former MP Nielsen",, December 16, 2008.
  6. ^ [2]
  7. ^ Whitehorse 1948 -1968
  8. ^ CBSA Office - Detailed Information
  9. ^ a b - Schedule announced for Whitehorse/Ottawa/Yellowknife Flights
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^ Dec. 1, 1943 Canadian Pacific Air Lines system timetable
  14. ^ May 1946 Canadian Pacific Air Lines system timetable
  15. ^ July 15, 1970 CP Air system timetable
  16. ^ North American Official Airline Guide (OAG), Feb. 1, 1976 edition, Whitehorse flight schedules
  17. ^ Dec. 1, 1943; Nov. 1, 1953; April 29, 1962 & April 24, 1966 Canadian Pacific Air Lines system timetables
  18. ^ Aug. 1, 1963 Pan American World Airways system timetable
  19. ^ June 1, 1974 & Sept. 15, 1977 Wien Air Alaska system timetables
  20. ^ Era Aviation system timetables
  21. ^

External links

  • Government of Yukon - Whitehorse International Airport
  • CF-CPY Wind Vane
  • Whitehorse Airport Arrivals
  • Whitehorse Airport Departures
  • Page about this airport on COPA's Places to Fly airport directory
  • Past three hours METARs, SPECI and current TAFs for Whitehorse International Airport from Nav Canada as available.
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