Two years after Charles Lindbergh’s historic flight in 1927, Québec City’s first airport hangars were built in Sainte-Foy, where the Centre hospitalier de l’Université Laval (CHUL) is now located. Québec City’s airport adventure had begun, with an airfield used for mail service during winter.
World War II broke out in 1939, prompting the hasty establishment of an airfield in l’Ancienne-Lorette, where the first hangars were built for the Royal Canadian Air Force and the 8th Observer School. The first military flight took place on this site on September 11, 1941.
From 1943, Québec City’s terminal developed as fast as the fascinating world of aviation. Facilities were enhanced (runway lights, taxiways and approaches, etc.) and Candian Pacific Airlines was the first airline to offer flights between Montreal, Québec City, Mont-Joli, and Sept-Îles.
In the mid-1950s, Trans-Canada Air Lines and Quebecair began service and on December 17, 1954, the first terminal became operational. The construction of ramps and loading areas followed.
1964 was a turning point in the history of commercial aviation with the introduction of jet service. In 1973, a new terminal was built in Québec City, followed in 1981 by new access roads and upgraded aprons.
Between 1982 and 1984, the terminal, car parking lot and apron were expanded. In 1993, Aéroport de Québec became Jean Lesage International Airport.
A new international zone was opened three years later, in 1996. The fallowing year, a new control tower and the NAV CANADA Aviation Complex were unveiled.
In 2000, Transport Canada transferred the airport’s management, operations, and development to Aéroport de Québec inc. Over the next years, new management set the goal of providing Québec City and the eastern part of the province with an infrastructure that would meet the expectations and needs of the region’s various socioeconomic and political players.
This unifying project got under way in 2006 with the beginning of major a modernization project.
June 2008 marks the beginning of new era for Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport.
The following chart lists the highlights of Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport’s history until today.
|1929-38||Beginning of activities. The aerodrome is used for courier service in winter.|
|1939||The war breaks out and precipitates the development of an airfield in L’Ancienne-Lorette.|
|1941||Construction of the first hangars for the Royal Canadian Aviation Corps and the 8th Observer School.|
|1943||Upgrading of airport installations (runway lights, taxiways, approach, etc.) and introduction of flights between Montreal, Quebec City, Mont-Joli and Sept-Îles by Canadian Pacific Airlines.|
|1945||The Ministry of Transportation takes over from National Defence.|
|1955-57||Beginning of Trans Canada Airlines and Québécair activities; ramps, loading areas and the first terminal are built. Operations begin on December 17, 1957.|
|1959||Installation of an instrument landing system, high intensity approach lightning, airport radar and airway surveillance system for air traffic control.|
|1964||Introduction of jet service.|
|1973||Construction of a new terminal.|
|1974||Extension of runway 06-24 to 7,500 ft.|
|1979||Extension of runway 06-24 to 9,000 ft.|
|1981||Construction of a new access road (main access road) and runway reinforcement.|
|1982-84||Expansion of terminal, vehicle parking lots and hardstands.|
|1988||Hardstands are upgraded.|
|1992||Runway 06-24 is completely rebuilt.|
|1993||Aéroport de Québec becomes Jean Lesage International Airport.|
|1994||Beginning of Jean Lesage International Airport redevelopment project.|
|1995||Extension of the INDIA taxiway into the general aviation zone.|
|1996||Inauguration of the terminal’s new international zone.|
|1997||Inauguration of the new air control tower and NAV Canada Aviation Complex.|
|2000||Rebuilding of the main access road and runway 12-30.|
|2000||Transfer of airport management responsibilities to Aéroport de Québec inc.|
|2006||The beginning of terminal’s major modernization project.|
|2008||Inauguration of Québec Jean Lesage International Airport.|