Waterloo International Airport (YKF) was sixth busiest in Canada in 2021, according to a new report from Statistics Canada, with 133,293 takeoffs or landings occurring on its runways.
Waterloo’s airport finished in the rankings between Calgary/Springbank Airport, which had 138,969 aircraft movements in 2021, and Québec’s Jean Lesage International, which had 129,649.
The busiest airport in the country in 2021 was Boundary Bay which saw 211,335 takeoffs and landings, with Toronto’s Pearson International Airport ranking second with 174,138.
The region says that YKF finished in the range of 15 or 16th in Canada but it moved up the rankings as the COVID pandemic left many commercial planes grounded. In the past, airport officials have told Global News that Waterloo’s airport is often used for pilot training.
“YKF is the busiest general aviation airport in Ontario. Flight training has always accounted for over half of our aircraft movements,” Chris Wood, airport general manager, stated.
“We are the proud home of the Waterloo Wellington Flight Centre, one of Canada’s largest professional flight training schools. General aviation built this airport and will continue to thrive as we grow.”
That said, 2021 was a banner year for passenger traffic at Waterloo International Airport as the region says that 171,828 passengers flew in and out of the airport, which is a 245-per cent increase over 2019.
The region credits the arrival of Flair Airlines in the area as the new low-budget carrier continues to expand.