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Abbotsford International Airport

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Abbotsford International Airport
YXX rwy 0725.jpg
Airport typePublic
Owner/OperatorCity of Abbotsford
LocationAbbotsford, British Columbia
Hub for
Time zonePST (UTC−08:00)
 • Summer (DST)PDT (UTC−07:00)
Elevation AMSL194 ft / 59 m
Coordinates49°01′31″N 122°21′36″W / 49.02528°N 122.36000°W / 49.02528; -122.36000
CYXX is located in British Columbia
Location in British Columbia
CYXX is located in Canada
CYXX (Canada)
Direction Length Surface
ft m
07/25 9,597 2,925 Asphalt/concrete
01/19 5,328 1,624 Asphalt
Statistics (2018)
Aircraft movements127,134
Passengers842,212 Increase 24.3% [1]
YXX from above
YXX from above

Abbotsford International Airport (IATA: YXX, ICAO: CYXX) is located in Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada, 2.2 nautical miles (4.1 km; 2.5 mi) southwest of the city centre. It is the second largest airport in the Lower Mainland, after Vancouver International Airport (YVR), and is in close proximity to British Columbia Highway 1, and the US border. It is located about 40 kilometres (25 mi) from Surrey city centre and 65 kilometres (40 mi) from downtown Vancouver.

YXX offers daily domestic scheduled services and seasonal international scheduled services. The airport is equipped with a CAT 1 instrument landing system, on-site aircraft rescue and firefighting, and a fully serviced air terminal building with customs and passenger screening. It is classified as an airport of entry by Nav Canada and is staffed by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) for all scheduled international arrivals. CBSA also provides clearance services to all general aviation aircraft with no more than 15 passengers[2]

Abbotsford Airport has a longstanding general aviation community and an established aerospace community, including Cascade Aerospace, the Conair Group, and the University of the Fraser Valley Aerospace Centre.

Abbotsford Airport is also home to the Abbotsford Shell Aerocentre FBO and flying schools, such as Coastal Pacific Aviation, Principal Air and Chinook Helicopters. YXX is highly visible to the public due to the Abbotsford International Airshow,[7] Defense & Security Expo,[8] and Tradex[9] events centre.

There are approximately 87 hectares (215 acres) of land immediately available for airside and landside development. In 2008, 503,693 passengers passed through Abbotsford International Airport and 477,087 in 2014.[6]

In 2018, the airport announced it will undergo a $5 million, 14-000 square foot expansion to add new gates and additional passenger seating capacity.[10]


World War II (1940-1945)

Abbotsford Airport entrance
Abbotsford Airport entrance

The Royal Canadian Air Force purchased the land to build Abbotsford Airport in 1940. In 1943 the construction of the three 1,555 m × 60 m (5,100 ft × 200 ft) runways based on a triangular layout was complete. The same year, under the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan, the No. 24 Elementary Flying Training School started operations from this location until 1944. The No 5 Operational Conversion Unit was split between Abbotsford and Boundary Bay Airport.

Aerodrome information

In approximately 1942, the aerodrome was listed at 49°01′N 122°22′W / 49.017°N 122.367°W / 49.017; -122.367 with a Var. 23.5 degrees E and no listed elevation. The aerodrome was listed as "Under construction - Servicable" an had three runways as follows: [11]

Runway name Length Width Surface
12/30 5,000 feet (1,524 m) 200 feet (61 m) Hard surfaced
8/26 5,000 feet (1,524 m) 200 feet (61 m) Hard surfaced
18/36 5,000 feet (1,524 m) 200 feet (61 m) Hard surfaced

Post war (1945-1997)

Following World War II, the airport was largely used for general aviation and as a secondary field to Vancouver International Airport. Prior to the use of instrument landing systems, fog could make Vancouver Airport unusable and flights had to land at Abbotsford. If a big earthquake floods or otherwise damages low-lying Vancouver Airport on Sea Island in Richmond, then as many flights as possible will likely be looking to land at Abbotsford Airport.

The airport became the home to Skyways Air Services and Conair Aviation in the 1960s. Abbotsford is still the primary base for Conair's fleet of water bombers.

In September 1984 Pope John Paul II held an open-air mass for over 200,000 people at the airport.[12]

Current (1997-Present)

On January 1, 1997, the ownership of the Abbotsford Airport was transferred from the Department of Transport to the City of Abbotsford for a sum of $10. In June of that year, Abbotsford became a jet passenger airport in with the start of scheduled service to Alberta by WestJet. Prior, Airspeed Aviation had been the exclusive operator offering regional service to Victoria, B.C. since 1986. Canada 3000 was the first airline to offer transcontinental service from Abbotsford to Toronto in June 2000. Abbotsford's first international charter flight was to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico in December 2003 by tour operator Transat Holidays.

Since 2000 many airlines and tour operators have come and gone from Abbotsford, including Air Canada, Air Canada Tango, Air Canada Jazz, Air North, Canada 3000, Central Mountain Air, Helijet, Jetsgo, Signature Vacations, Zoom Airlines, Harmony Airways, Peace Air and ZIP Air.

In 2010, a new parallel taxiway was added alongside runway 07/25, and the main airport apron was extended. An aircraft run-up bay that can accommodate up to three medium weight category aircraft at the same time was added near the Cascade Aerospace hangar.

From 2017, Abbotsford International Airport began to see a resurgence in air passenger numbers, with the introduction of service to Edmonton and Calgary with WestJet. In 2018, Flair Airlines introduced additional flights to Edmonton, and new flights to Winnipeg and Hamilton. Swoop, WestJet's ULCC subsidiary, began similar operations, with flights to Edmonton, Winnipeg, Hamilton, London (ON), Las Vegas, and seasonal flights to Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta.[13] Air Canada Rouge offers a seasonal service to Toronto Pearson between June and October. This service was suspended in 2019 due to the 737 Max grounding, and again in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It will resume in 2021.[14]


Since 1962, the airport has hosted the annual Abbotsford International Airshow usually held the second weekend in August. Designated as Canada's national airshow in the mid 1970s by Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, it is Canada's largest airshow as well as one of North America's largest airshows. It has been listed as one of the ten best airshows in the world.[15] it draws airplane enthusiasts from all over Western Canada and the Northwestern United States. The static displays allow people to get up close to many of the exhibits while numerous performances decorate the skies above.[16] The International Council of Airshows awarded a Silver Pinnacle Award to the airshow in 2014.[17]

Airlines and destinations


A Douglas DC-6 of Conair in 1983
A Douglas DC-6 of Conair in 1983
Air Canada Rouge Seasonal: Toronto–Pearson
Island Express Air Nanaimo, Qualicum Beach, Vancouver, Victoria
Swoop Edmonton, Hamilton (ON) (ends October 23, 2020), Las Vegas, London (ON), Winnipeg
Seasonal: Mazatlán, Puerto Vallarta, Toronto–Pearson (begins October 25, 2020)[18]
WestJet Calgary
WestJet Encore Calgary


SkyLink Express Vancouver
UPS Airlines Vancouver


Annual traffic

Annual passenger traffic[19]
Year Passengers % change
2010 463,763 Steady
2011 475,223 Increase 2.5%
2012 490,636 Increase 3.2%
2013 478,341 Decrease -2.5%
2014 477,087 Decrease -0.3%
2015 487,833 Increase 2.3%
2016 530,643 Increase 8.8%
2017 677,653 Increase 27.7%
2018 842,212 Increase 24.3%

Ground transportation

The airport is serviced by Central Fraser Valley Transit Route 21, which connects Aldergrove with Bourquin Exchange in Abbotsford. Per the rider guide dated 2017-09-03, it is unlikely that this service will be useful to airline passengers.

The airport is served by Ebus, on their route between Vancouver and Kamloops/Kelowna. Ebus is a carrier based in Alberta.


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b Canada Flight Supplement. Effective 0901Z 16 July 2020 to 0901Z 10 September 2020.
  3. ^ Airport Divestiture Status Report Archived 2016-03-03 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Synoptic/Metstat Station Information Archived 2013-06-27 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Total aircraft movements by class of operation — NAV CANADA towers
  6. ^ a b Statistics
  7. ^ Abbotsford Airshow
  8. ^ Aerospace, Defense & Security Expo
  9. ^ Tradex
  10. ^ "Abbotsford International Airport poised to hit a million passengers a year". Vancouver Sun. 2018-03-19. Retrieved 2018-03-23.
  11. ^ Staff writer (c. 1942). Pilots Handbook of Aerodromes and Seaplane Bases Vol. 2. Royal Canadian Air Force. p. 126.
  12. ^ Mass Dedicated to the Heart of Christ
  13. ^ "Swoop where we fly".
  14. ^ "Route suspensions due to COVID-19". AirCanada. Retrieved March 16, 2020.
  15. ^ 10 best air shows around the world
  16. ^ Abbotsford International Airshow
  17. ^ ICAS Announces Inaugural Pinnacle Awards Recipients
  18. ^ "Swoop W20 operations as of 02SEP20". September 3, 2020. Retrieved September 4, 2020.
  19. ^ Abbotsford Airport. "Facts and Statistics".

External links

This page was last edited on 14 September 2020, at 00:48
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