Use Reliever Airports and Save
There are advantages to choosing alternative airports. Smaller airports often have lower landing fees – which airlines pass onto the flyer – and they’re typically quicker to navigate. However in our vast country, distances – with a couple of exceptions – can be so great as to negate the benefits. For example, Alberta-bound travellers will choose to fly into Calgary or Edmonton, and as the distance between the two cities is 299km, it’s not quite a short hop. Travellers bound for Regina probably will not consider flying to Saskatoon to save a few dollars as it is 257km away.
However, there are a few options: Toronto Pearson International Airport, Canada’s busiest airport and Air Canada hub, is 32km from Toronto. It has a reliever aerodrome in John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport, 69km southwest of the city. It is a 45-minute drive from Hamilton to Toronto Pearson and both airports have good transport links. A ticket downtown from Toronto Pearson (bus or subway – Toronto Transit Commission) costs about $3; GO Trains and GO Buses connect Hamilton with the Greater Toronto Area.
The biggest US airport near Toronto Pearson is Buffalo Niagara International in upstate New York. Toronto is 144km from downtown Buffalo.
Vancouver International Airport, 65km from downtown Vancouver, is the premier gateway between Asia and North America. It has a reliever in Abbotsford International Airport, the Lower Mainland’s second-largest airport. There is an Airport Link Shuttle from Abbotsford to Vancouver International Airport and the Cruise Ship Terminal at Canada Place in downtown Vancouver.
In Montreal, St-Hubert is the major reliever for Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport and south of the border, Plattsburgh International Airport in Plattsburgh, New York, has billed itself as “Montreal’s US airport.” It is an hour south of Montreal.
Gander in Newfoundland competes with Bangor International Airport, Maine, for transatlantic flights.
Featured image: Andrel Dimofte