Sioux Lookout Airport started operation in 1933. In the mid-thirties, Popular Mechanics magazine reported in an article on aviation, that Sioux Lookout (Hudson) Airport was at the time the second busiest Airport in North America next to Chicago. Today, the airport is a “Mini-Hub” facilitating travel to and from all northern communities in Northwestern Ontario.
The two main factors that brought the north closer to Sioux Lookout Airport were the termination of winter tractor trains going north. (The end of an era of hearty breed of men); the other was the Ministry of Transportation program in 1968 of “Highways in the Sky” and building of landing strips at the northern villages.
The Airport now accommodates aircrafts on a 24 hours basis with carrier operations averaging 30,000 movements annually.
At present, the Sioux Lookout Airport accommodates a 24 hour NavCanada Flight Services Station (FSS), and has hangars belonging to Allen Airways, Bearskin Airlines, Red Hawk Aviation, Ornge, Nishnawbe-Aski Police Service, Northern Airborne Maintenance, Skycare Air Ambulance and Wasaya Airways.
History of Aviation in Sioux Lookout
Sioux Lookout has been a part of the birth and growth of aviation since the early 1920’s, from its infancy through to its current maturity.
Going back to the early 1920’s, transcontinental flights have always taken place over the forested areas of Ontario. The first flight into Sioux Lookout was in 1921 by the local Ministry of Natural Resources. This, a landmark event, introduced the people of Sioux Lookout to the fascinating world of flight.
The gold discoveries in the Red Lake area opened the gateway for aircraft in the north to provide the much needed alternate form of transportation. In March 1926, Mr. Jack Elliot of Eastern Ontario shipped two Curtis JN4 aircraft by rail to Sioux Lookout. These aircraft were then ferried to Hudson by Elliot and Harold Farrington and commenced air service to Red Lake.
In March 1926, Western Canadian Airways was formed with the financial backing from financier James A. Richardson of Winnipeg. The first aircraft to arrive was a Fokker Universal, ferried from New Jersey to Sioux Lookout by Pilot Oakes and Engineer Al Cheeseman.
The Canadian Airlines name continued on in Sioux Lookout until it was taken over by Canadian Pacific Railway in 1941. In 1946 with the arrival of Norseman CFBSL crewed by Eddie Richards & Arnold Wallace, Hudson Bay Air Transport began its operations from Sioux Lookout. In 1955 State Falls Airways was established by Gordon Norell & Arnold Hunt with the purchase of Super Club aircraft.
In 1967 with the takeover of Trans Air , Dave Hooker commenced operations in Sioux Lookout. The operation of charter flights and freight hauling was carried on from an improved office and maintenance facilities.
Finally in 1974, the Municipality of Sioux Lookout bought the present airport from the Federal Ministry of Transportation.