Northernmost Airport

Have you ever wondered where the northernmost permanent airport in the world is? If you guessed Alert Airport (IATA: YLT, ICAO:CYLT) you would be right. Alert Airport is located at Alert, Nunavut, Canada which is approximately 520 miles (830 km) south of the true North Pole.
The airport is operated by the Canadian Department of defense and is part of Canadian Forces Station Alert and is still in use today. Click here to see more at photos Google maps…

Alert Airport information:

• N82°31.07′ / W62°16.83′
• Runway 05/23
• Dimensions: 5500 x 150 feet.
• Surface: gravel
• Runway 05 runway heading: 048°T Runway 23 runway heading: 228°T
• Approach Lights Omni-Directional Approach Lighting System
• Runway ID Lights (Strobes), SSALR: High Intensity Approach Lighting System with Runway Alignment Indicator Lights
• Glide Slope Indicator: PAPI for aircraft with eye-to-wheel height up to 25 feet
• Elevation: 100 feet MSL.)
• Magnetic Variation: 56° West
• Time Zone: UTC-5(4)


Surrounded by rugged hills and valleys with slate and shale shorelines, Alert is named after a British ship (HMS Alert) that wintered nearby in 1875-76. Captain George Nares (along with his crew) were the first to reach the northern end of Ellesmere Island.

In the past it was thought that if a series of Arctic stations were established in this region not only would it greatly aid in programs of research in science but having advance weather and military bases would be of benefit as well. The weather station at Alert was established in 1950 and in 1957 construction began on the military facilities which were completed by 1958.
The Alert Airport is served by military flights only. Supplies for Alert are brought in from the US Air Force base in Thule, Greenland in missions called “Operation Boxtop”. Twice a year, C-130 cargo planes bring in 320,000 gallons of fuel and 738,000 pounds of supplies. At one time Alert had a crew of over 200 people but by the mid 90′s many duties were converted to remote-control and staffing has been reduced to a crew of 74.

Alert is north of the Arctic Circle so polar night is experienced from the middle of October until the end of February, and the midnight sun from the first week of April until the first week of September. There are two relatively short periods of twilight from about February 13th to March 22nd and the second from September 19th to October 22nd. The weather here is extremely cold with average temperatures ranging from 0.1° F (-17°C) from September through January, to 38° F (3.4° C) in July and August. Snow covers the landscape 10 months of the year most of which is received during the months June through September (the heaviest precipitation occurring in September).