Gimli Airport (CYGM) is located off Highway 8 with access from Gimli Park Road and Provincial Highway 231. Part of the Industrial Business Park, it has one runway that is 6800 feet long with an asphalt surface with a field elevation of 753 feet ASL (above sea level).
The airfield was once a military field and served during World War II as the home of Service Flying Training School #18 under the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan. The field is now operated as a civilian airport, with one of the original parallel runways decommissioned and now a significant portion of Gimli Motorsport Park.
The main traffic at the airport is Lakeside Flight School, a Canadian Designated Learning Institute for international students, and a flying school with a long history. Other operators include the Manitoba Provincial Government’s water bomber squadron, the Regional Gliding School (Prairie), and the No. 435 Transport and Rescue Squadron based out of No. 17 Wing Winnipeg. In Summer, there is extensive gliding and skydiving activities alongside flight training but in Winter, the flight school has almost exclusive use of the airport.
Operators in Gimli like Lakeside Flight School are able to provide 100LL AVgas and a self-service pump has Jet-A fuel for sale with payment through major credit cards. In Winter, the runway is cleared daily of snow. For night flying, runway lightings can be activated remotely by pilots flying in the Mandatory Frequency zone using the aircraft radio control of aerodrome lighting (ARCAL) system through the frequency 122.15. Gimli Airport also has a Non-Directional Beacon (NBD) and student pilots can navigate using the Automatic Direction Finder by tuning in to frequency 296.
The field elevation of Gimli Airport is 753 feet above sea level (ASL) and the circuit height is 1800 feet ASL. Runway 15 is a standard left-hand circuit while Runway 33 is a right-hand circuit. Both circuits take you over the beautiful town of Gimli and this is also to make space for the gliders and tow-aircraft operating West of the runway within the airport perimeters, who share the airport during Summer.
In 1983, Air Canada 143, a Boeing 767 ran out of fuel due to calculation errors en route from Montreal to Edmonton and lost both engines over southern Manitoba. It glided more than 50 miles and lost more than 20000 feet in altitude to land with no serious injuries at the Airport. This incident was later known as the Gimli Glider.
Update: The Rural Municipality of Gimli is currently doing repair works to the Airport. We will be seeing new runway markings and repaved and repaired runway sections and apron.