Image of Airshow

Airport History

1942The Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) purchased land in 1940 to build the Abbotsford Airport. In June 1942, approval was given for the construction of an airport based on a triangular layout. Construction was completed in 1943 consisting of three runways 5,100 feet long by 200 feet wide.
Vintage photograph of plane on runway
Photo by Howie Carson, courtesy of the M. DesMazes collection.
1943In September 1943, under the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan, the No. 24 Elementary flying Training School started operations using Cornell aircraft until February 1944. Then #5 Liberator Operational Training Unit was based here flying Liberator aircraft.
1946The RCAF station at Abbotsford Airport closed in 1946 but the airport was maintained by the RCAF on a caretaker basis.
1948In 1948, the Fraser River flooded and people from Matsqui moved to the airport barracks. Cattle and other animals were also moved onto the airport.
1952The airport was closed from 1952 to 1958, although air carriers listed it unofficially as an alternate to Vancouver. In 1956-57 the RCAF permitted automobile drag racing on the site.
1956During the period of December 1956 to March 1957, accommodation and facilities at the airport were used by the Department of Citizenship and Immigration for housing 3,000 Hungarian refugees.
1958On April 1, 1958, the airport was officially transferred to the Department of Transport. Hangar No. 2 was converted into an administration and terminal building, Customs and Immigrations facilities and accommodation for air carriers. Runway 07-25 was extended by 1,900 feet to 7,000 feet in length.
1960In 1960 the airport zoning was registered under the Aeronautics Act.
1960A control tower began operations on a part-time basis in January 1960 to handle IFR traffic that was diverted to Abbotsford when Vancouver International Airport was closed because of fog. With the increase in traffic, the tower began full-time operation in December 1961.
1962In 1962 the first Abbotsford Air Show was held, sponsored by the Abbotsford Rotary Club and the Abbotsford Flying Club.
1963Runway 07-25 was extended by another 1,000 feet to 8,000 feet.
1966In 1966 Skyway Air Services was granted permission to use the airport for a gliding school.
1969Skyway Air Services sold their aerial forest fire fighting business to Conair Aviation Ltd. Conair has become the largest fire-bombing and aerial application operation in North America. It is the major general aviation tenant at YXX.
1981In 1981 a new control tower was commissioned.
1984In September 1984 Pope John Paul II visited Abbotsford. More than 200,000 people converged at the airport for an open-air mass delivered by the Pope.
1986Airspeed Aviation began operation in March, 1986.
1997On January 1, 1997, ownership of the airport was officially transferred from the Department of Transport to the City of Abbotsford for the sum of $10.
1997WestJet Airlines took its inaugural flight on June 18, 1997 and YXX became a jet passenger airport.
1998The new Terminal building was opened on December 10, 1998 and further expanded in 2002 and again in 2004.
2002The Customs building was constructed in 2002 and expanded in 2005.
2005Runway 07-25 extension to 9,600 feet.
2006YXX surpassed 500,000 passengers for the year.

YXX celebrates the sixty-fifth anniversary of the first plane to land at the Abbotsford International Airport.

2008Abbotsford Airport approved for the International Air Cargo Transshipment Program
2008Revitalization Tax Exemption approved for the I7 zone at the Abbotsford International Airport.
2009Abbotsford Airport welcomes Orca Air.
2009New Chinook Helicopter Training Facility opens.
2010Abbotsford International Airport processed more than 500 aircraft during the timeframe of the 2010 Winter Olympics.
2011Abbotsford Airport celebrated the completion of a $30 million investment towards major upgrades to the Abbotsford International Airport. The project was a result of a collaboration between the Canadian and British Columbia governments and Abbotsford International Airport.
2011The Abbotsford International Airport awarded the William Templeton trophy from the British Columbia Aviation Council. The trophy is awarded annually for outstanding initiative and achievement in the successful development of a community airport facility by an individual, association, municipal government or company.
2016Corp Air constructed 24,000 square feet of new hangar space
2016  Record Passenger Volumes - 530,000 passengers processed
2016Flair Airlines & New Leaf Travel started service into YXX; Flair is an Ultra Low Cost Carrier
2017Godspeed Aviation built a new 8,000 square foot hangar
2017Another record year for passenger volumes - 677,000 passengers processed!
2018Swoop (Ultra Low Cost Carrier) started commercial air service from YXX
20185 million dollar terminal expansion project broke ground
2018Record breaking year for passenger volumes - 842,812 passengers processed
2018Chinook helicopters broke ground on a new 18,000 square foot hangar
2019Conair built a new 8,000 square foot simulator building
201923,000 square feet of new hangar space constructed
2019Record breaking year for passenger volumes – 1,008,176 passengers processed
2020COVID19 decreased service levels by 219.5% from prior year and COVID19 had a major impact on the aviation industry
2021Slow recovery with 511,391 passengers processed
2021In the summer of 2021, Abbotsford Airport welcomes Flair Airlines 
2022Out bound baggage system and room was revitalized and modernized, project value was 8 million 
2022The Abbotsford Airshow had its 60th year anniversary 
2022Airport saw strong recovery in passenger demand, and volumes reached 992,712