The History Of Montréal-Trudeau International Airport

The History Of…

Montréal-Trudeau International Airport (IACO: CYUL)


Early History

In the 1940s, Canada realized that the old airport, Saint Hubert airport was too small for the growth and development of a city Montréal wanted. So, they chose a plot of land (a former race track) in the Dorval Aires, and called it “Montréal-Dorval Airport”. It originally had 3 paved runways, and served as the biggest transatlantic hub and the largest airport in Canada. It also served as a major stopping point during world war 2, for planes that passed through here for flights to England. In 1960, a brand new 30 million dollar (not adjusted for inflation) terminal was built at the airport. In 1968, Pierre Elliott Trudeau, the PM of Canada decided to renovate the entire airport, just 8 years after the new terminal was built.

What About Mirabel Airport?

Mirabel airport was built near Trudeau airport (called Dorval at the time) and it opened becoming the largest airport in the world by land size. All of the airlines that flew to Dorval moved their operations to Mirabel, leaving Dorval serving transborder flights and domestic services. In the 70s, when the economic decline hit Montréal, most international airlines moves from Mirabel, to the nearby city that you may have heard of, called Toronto. Specifically, to Toronto Pearson International Airport.

Moving Back To Dorval

In 1997, when international airlines made a return to the Montréal area, they chose to consolidate all operations to Dorval, including Air Canada, the biggest Canadian airline. In 2004, the airport was re named to Montréal–Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport, also known as Montréal-Trudeau. It was named in Trudeau’s honor because he was the one who made the airport what it is today. Many people, however still call it Dorval airport because of his political views, and that he had been the one to abandon that airport, and wanted to move the operations to Mirabel.

Montréal-Trudeau Airport Renovations

In February 2000, the government spent over 700 Million (CAD) to renovate the entire airport. This was to make the airport that of similar size to other airports in the region. When there switched from Mirabel, Air Canada made Montréal-Trudeau their Eastern Canadian hub. On June 15, 2006, they opened their new Transborder terminal, for flights to the United States. It was equipped with newer technologies for a user friendly experience.

Terminals (kinda)

Montreal has a very interesting airport layout. We have one large building, divided into three sections. Domestic, transborder, international, and the public area. All the terminals are pretty much the same, except for the fact that the international and transborder terminals both have suspended walkways for those going to immigration. I have personally flown in on WestJet Flight 1055, from Fort Lauderdale to Montréal, and Air Canada Rouge 1602 from Montréal to Fort Lauderdale and I am happy to report that it is a very nice terminal. Shops are present, and it is easy to navigate.

Most Flown Routes

I really apologize, I tried my hardest to find something on the Internet about the top most flown routes from the airport but I just couldn’t do it. There was literally nothing, so I’m going to give you this list for themselves of all the routes.

Thank you for reading! Please vote below for which airport I should do next!

Next Theme: JetBlue vs Alaska vs Southwest 🇺🇸

  • New York Kennedy (JetBlue)
  • Seattle Tacoma (Alaska)
  • Dallas Love Field (Southwest)

0 voters

Montréal–Trudeau International Airport - Wikipedia
History of Montreal Pierre Elliott Trudeau Airport (YUL): Airport History and Facts, Montreal Area, QC, Canada

My Other History Topics

The History Of Fort Lauderdale Airport!
The History Of Newark Liberty International Airport
The History Of Salt Lake City International Airport
The History Of Perth Airport


Very cool story! (do SWA next pls lmao)


Very nice topic might as well try one with a different airport


Great! just don’t do one that is a candidate for my next one :)

Interesting read, thanks for putting this together!

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C: JetBlue!!

Sick History lesson!

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Ravioli Ravioli I would love a Jetblueoli

Thank you! Glad you enjoyed!

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Well… vote!

Also, @Flightistic wanted a tag sooo. More MYSTERY OF THE HISTORY

Don’t worry I’d did

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I’m so glad someone made a post about my home airport! Hopefully more people will fly there in IF! Also the most flown route from Montreal is to Toronto. It is one of the busiest routes in the world too.

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Very informative topic, Zac. I really enjoy these! I had no idea that CYUL had such a renovation that it did. Makes the flight experience that much more smooth, safe, and easy! I look forward to the next one!

I think I may have knew that…

I’m glad you enjoyed it!

You’ve said it all @CaptainZac

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I would assume Toronto because it has a total of 405 weekly departures to there (YTZ and YYZ)

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Also Montreal is a nice Canadian airport to go to with many diversity like Toronto and I keep forgetting that YMX Is still being used today as for cargo or special stuff


you don’t speak of Mirabel Airport, it is important for Yul
Good Story
I live 12 years at montreal and he has information i dont know it

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