WINNIPEG – St. Andrews airport opened its hangars to the public Saturday to celebrate its 50th anniversary.
“It’s rare, you don’t get to see these kinds of planes too often,” said visitor Bruce Simpson.
The downpour of rain cancelled some of the planned activities like hot air balloon and plane rides but the rain didn’t keep visitors away.
“Despite the weather I was determined to come out here today and show my son some planes,” Simpson said.
The airport opened in 1964 to help take on some of the growing demands on Winnipeg’s airport after it started attracting larger jet airplanes.
Airport management says back in its heyday in the 70’s St. Andrews Airport was the busiest airport in all of Canada for aircraft movement. Now it’s the second busiest in the province and eighteenth in Canada.
“Right now we have anywhere between 250 to 500 aircraft movements a day depending on the weather,” said Craig Skonberg, manager of St. Andrews Airport.
St. Andrews airport is also home to smaller air companies who fly to northern first nation communities, which it still does to nine of them.
It also hosts multiple flying schools. “It’s a feeling of accomplishment because you’ve learned a skill that not everyone can do and a lot of people are afraid to do,” said Lindsay Kitson who took flying lessons at the airport.
St. Andrews airport is expanding to meet the growing demand and will open three more hangars this year.