St. John’s International Airport
Nearly 80 percent of Newfoundland and Labrador’s tourists enter the province through St. John’s International Airport, less than a 15-minute taxi ride away from Newfoundland and Labrador’s provincial capital. This airport sees well over a million passengers each year, a huge increase of over 80 percent since 1998.
Passengers can travel non-stop to Halifax, Montréal, Toronto, and Ottawa from St. John’s, which also offers flights throughout the rest of Newfoundland and Labrador. Seasonal destinations include Cancun, Punta Canta, Moncton, Calgary, and London. Relay runs a departures lounge duty-free shop and a first floor gift gallery, but visitors can also buy high quality Newfoundland and Labrador handicrafts at the airport’s Heritage Shop. The airport also features two Tim Horton’s donut shop outlets and three restaurants. Children can let off steam in any of the airport’s designated areas, while passengers seeking peace and relaxation can use the third floor quiet room. Tourists can seek advice on whale and iceberg sightings, among other things, at the airport’s visitor information center.
Although no shuttle or bus service travels directly to the airport, half a dozen car rental companies stand ready, including Enterprise, Avis, and Hertz. Reserving these vehicles in advance is highly recommended, particularly during Newfoundland and Labrador’s busy high season, which runs from May to September. In addition to the City Wide Taxi cabs at the airport’s taxi stand, a company called Wheelway arranges wheelchair accessible cabs especially for disabled passengers.
Gander International Airport
This central Newfoundland airport was the world’s largest at the time of its 1938 opening. During the next few decades, Gander International Airport became an important transatlantic jet refueling stop because of its location approximately halfway between the United Kingdom and the American East Coast. In later years, the airport provided refuge to prominent defectors from Communist countries and, most recently, over 6,000 stranded passengers and crew following the American airspace closure as a result of the horrific September 11, 2001 attacks.
The amount of international jets entering Gander International Airport may have decreased dramatically over the years, but this centrally-located airport remains an important hub for transatlantic air traffic control and flights throughout Newfoundland and Labrador. Passengers can purchase souvenirs at the Cameo Corner gift shop, sample the Little Dipper Eatery’s seafood chowder, or take advantage of the spacious terminal’s many other modern amenities.
Avis, Budget, Thrifty, and National all have kiosks in the airport’s terminal, while Busy Bee Cabs stand parked 24 hours per day at the domestic arrivals area. Disabled passengers must make advance reservations for wheelchair accessible rental cars or DRL Coachlines’ public buses.