Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport is celebrating its 80th anniversary today. This anniversary is the perfect occasion to contemplate the road travelled and the milestones of the last decades. To mark this event, we retraced the key moments in our history, through the eyes of our employees.
« In 2016, I accompanied my mother to the Québec City airport. During her vacation in Québec City I did the different interviews to work at YQB, and I was hired. When we arrived at the airport, I was filled with a sense of pride and excitement; I was discovering with another eye the place where I was going to start working the following weeks.”
- Samuel Brésillion, IT technician, airport systems
“My oldest memory of YQB is the Air Festival, an event we have hosted many times throughout my career. Everything about this festival was fascinating for us at the Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting Service. We had to know all these types of planes that were new to us. We had to visit them, to discuss and to learn many things. Watching pilots perform breathtaking manoeuvres and making life-changing encounters with astronauts are the best memories of my entire career!”
- Annie Boucher, captain, Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting Service
"January 1991. I was taking a flight from Montréal to Sept-Îles, with a stop at YQB for a hockey tournament. During the flight, I had the chance to talk with Jacques Parizeau, future Premier of Québec. Our team won the tournament's top honours.”
- Carl-André Hurtubise, manager, strategy and business analysis
"Forty-eight years ago, I was working at the security checkpoint. We had one X-ray machine, which was in black and white. It often broke down and we had to do all the checks by hand. At the time, there were no airport security officers either, so when we had a problem, we would press a button in the back of a cabinet to call an RCMP officer."
- Jean Daniel, heavy equipment operator
"December 16, 1995. What is now called the Fondation en Coeur organizes short flights from YQB to finance the filming of an informative video and the creation of a room for the families of hospitalized children. Already captivated by aviation and being the older brother of a little boy with a broken (then repaired) heart, I obviously wanted to participate in this event! I was 7 years old at the time; although I had flown in an airplane when I was younger, this was the first time I had a conscious memory of it. There was a lot of activity in the terminal, where I was able to spend a good part of the day. There was a festive atmosphere in the plane during the flight. To experience something so special, it marks a person! I am sure this is the source of my passion for aviation and has contributed to my work here today.”
- Anthony Paquet, manager, airport security
“My oldest memory of YQB goes back to February 2, 1992, when I was 7 years old. I went to Orlando with my parents and grandparents. It was my first flight and I still remember the terminal building with its blue/green seats, its carpet, its brick-like floor, not to mention the 'international' corridor where I felt like I was in E.T. I unfortunately don’t have any pictures, but there was an excellent video of me playing arcades… A video which mysteriously went missing!”
- Marie-Pier Dubé, assistant manager, OCC
“My earliest memory of YQB was in 2002. When I was 19 years old, I went to work in the magic of Disneyland Paris for 3 months. While I was going through security at YQB, they confiscated the corkscrew that I had in my hand luggage (an essential in Paris!) and since I was studying hotel management, I thought it was only natural to always have one on me. In retrospect, it was a lack of experience in air travel! What beautiful memories and emotions when I returned to YQB when I saw my lover, my family, and my friends!”
- Isabelle Vachon, advisor, human resources
"First visit to YQB - My friends and I, fresh out of college, decided to spend the summer of 2007 in Western Canada. It was a first experience of an extended NON-supervised trip outside the province for the 3 of us. We arrived early at YQB; it was still dark on that May morning. First stop, a coffee at the Tim Hortons under construction - like everything else in the terminal - to say our "Goodbyes" to our parents before our departure. Let's just say we cried a lot while waiting for our flight in the brown waiting room of the old terminal, now gone. Fortunately, despite our second thoughts, it was a memorable summer in the Rockies and the beginning of many trips from YQB.”
- Catherine Bernier, advisor, communications
"Una piña colada sin ron." THE sentence that 11-year-old Anne repeated way too much during her very first all-inclusive experience in Cuba, in 2012. A first airplane trip for me, but also for my 3 brothers, all of whom were very feverish (and disorganized), as usual. My mother made sure we were at YQB at least 5 hours before our flight... hours of fun! In addition to having a great trip, we certainly put on a great show for all the half-asleep passengers in the terminal.”
- Anne Brosseau, communication intern
"On December 28, 2012, I was on my first (but definitely not last) flight out of YQB! My family and I arrived at the airport in a winter storm to catch an early morning flight to Orlando to spend the week at Disney World. We had an amazing trip with many magical moments. They say you're never too old for Disney and I can confirm it!
On our return, January 4, 2013, we parted ways as we left the airport. Without knowing it, it was the last time I would see my dad, who would leave us two weeks later.
Even though our airport has changed a lot since 2013 and even though I have been working there for almost 7 years, this place will always have a very special connotation for me as it marked the end of a journey whose memories are now priceless."
- Laurianne Lapierre, director, communications