Heathrow From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2005, 980 posts, RR: 0 Posted (5 years 10 months 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 7536 times:
Looking recently, I'm a bit confused as to why YMX never worked. I understand distance was the issue, but there are a few things regarding that issue that would have solved it. The planning of the train there, which had an existing station, and the amount of parking was sufficient. STN and LTN are WAY out of London, HEL is in Vantaa, YEG is in Nisku...
YMX was doomed to failure from the beginning when they kept YUL open and split operations with international flights (except US) at YMX and domestic and US flights at YUL. That killed YUL as a connecting hub and encouraged several international carriers to suspend service to Montreal. Even Canadian carriers cut back their Montreal international services due to the loss of connecting traffic.
I used YMX quite often and it was a convenient airport. Even the distance from the city wasn't a major problem in my experience.
Ironically, YUL is now named for the Canadian Prime Minister (Pierre Trudeau) who was in office when the decision was made to build YMX and when it opened.
PITrules From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 3368 posts, RR: 6
Reply 2, posted (5 years 10 months 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 7444 times:
Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 1):
YMX was doomed to failure from the beginning when they kept YUL open and split operations with international flights (except US) at YMX and domestic and US flights at YUL.
Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 1): I used YMX quite often and it was a convenient airport. Even the distance from the city wasn't a major problem in my experience.
I agree, but many people will suggest the airport is too far from the city. I don't see it that way, as the suburbs start only 5 or 6 miles from the airport boundary. It's in a good location with good highway access as Rt 15 ties the airport into the city's entire highway network.
Heathrow From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2005, 980 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (5 years 10 months 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 7433 times:
Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 1): This 2004 thread should answer your questions. There have been other YMX threads also.
A Tribute To Montreal-Mirabel Airport (YMX) (by Noise Oct 29 2004 in Civil Aviation)
I did a search, but none of the treads looked like they had any good info. There were too many threads to go through all of them.
Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 1): YMX was doomed to failure from the beginning when they kept YUL open and split operations with international flights (except US) at YMX and domestic and US flights at YUL.
Why did they not just choose to throw them all in at YMX. Correct me if I'm wrong, but Dorval being so close to downtown Montréal, isn't that land a bit more valuable?
I've used YMX once when I was younger, and I liked it. That was back with TS on an L1011.
As far as connections went. the only would would really be AC (and CP back then), where YYZ was an option for those comming from the US or Canada.
Aircellist From Canada, joined Oct 2004, 1775 posts, RR: 8
Reply 4, posted (5 years 10 months 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 7302 times:
Long story short:
Another aiport for Montréal was planned in the '60s, when air traffic was booming, when Montréal was the entry point for European flights, and when aircraft did not have enough range to get to central or western USA from Europe. So, Montréal served as a stopping point along those roads, if I may say so, somewhat akin to a few Gulf cities, used by european carriers on the road to Far East. Fligths to Chicago and West Coast would land in Montréal.
During the search for the location of the future airport, at one point it was suggested that this airport could also be used by Ottawa's area citizens, which influenced the location selection. Mirabel was then planned to be a gigantic airport, with six terminals and six runways. Wikipedia shows two diagrams, one of the lands reserved for the aiport, and the second shows what was built and what was planned.
When the building was already started, the airlines got the right to fly directly to Toronto, which had already overtaken Montréal as Canada's largest city. Also, the 747 was coming on line, which promised longer flights, so making useless the stop in Montréal for flights from Central/west Coast USA to Europe. Everything could have been stopped then.
But no. It was continued, and Mirabel was opened yet never completed. One terminal, two runways. The rail connection was never built, nor the second motorway to Montréal nor the motorway to Ottawa. As was said, it is further from downtown Montréal than Dorval. That made the prospect of having short fligths moved to Mirabel unpleasant to the business community, and to AC, which had its main base at YUL. So, to be sure not to displease anybody, the worst solution was taken, to cut long-range fllying from short- and medium range, effectively making Montréal a double "cul-de-sac".
To make matters worse, air transport is mainly the responsibility of the federal government, whereas motorway building is mostly of provincial responsibility. And, be them independentists of federalists, Québec governments do not always work well with federal ones... So, Mirabel's development grew to a standstill, as more and more carriers decided to abandon Montréal...
At one point, to make matters look better, Mirabel was named "North terminal", whereas Dorval was called "West terminal". That never suppressed the few dozens Km between both airports... There were commissions, inquiries, all the stuff, the control of the airports was transferred to Aéroports de Montréal, which also had commissions and inquiries, all saying that Mirabel and Dorval should retain their current roles... During that time, we lost services from LH, SN, AZ, IB, TP, LO, SK, AR, SR... (I may forget a few, or make a few mistakes, but you get the picture).
So, at one point, there was almost nobody left at Mirabel but AF, BA, KL, CP and AC, plus leisure carriers (mostly TS). Then, somebody decided to pull the plug and bring back regular flights to Dorval, to AC's pleasure, and some times later, charter flights followed suit.
Montréal could still be used for correspondences, I believe, as we do receive flights from many US and Canadian markets, and also still have a decent selection of European services. All three alliances fly here, and we tend to be much less congested than Toronto. But I won't hold my breath.
Heathrow From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2005, 980 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (5 years 10 months 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 7234 times:
Okay, that makes sense. However, it would seem to me, the YMX would have cheaper taxes, begging the question why airlines like TS (I know they held on 'till the end), SS, Z4 (were they even around for YMX?) didn't stay. I can guarantee if QN, 2T and WD were still around, they would msot likely favour YMX over YUL. As an ex. and future Gatineau (Ottawa) citizen, Montréal is the closest airport with any routes worth flying, and YMX would be so much easier for that purpose.
On another note, you say YMX was supposed to serve Ottawa as well. When was it decided to use YOW instead?
LH423 From Canada, joined Jul 1999, 6501 posts, RR: 53
Reply 6, posted (5 years 10 months 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 7102 times:
Quoting Heathrow (Reply 3): Correct me if I'm wrong, but Dorval being so close to downtown Montréal, isn't that land a bit more valuable?
Most definitely. While property values in Montréal tend to be lower than other major North American cities, one only needs to look to Denver to see what can be done with the land occupied by a major international airport.
Quoting Aircellist (Reply 4): nor the second motorway to Montréal nor the motorway to Ottawa
The A-50 is going to be completed (eventually) which will technically connect the Ottawa area to Mirabel. Unfortunately, by that point YMX will be a water park (or whatever the plan is now) and the 50 will best serve as a shortcut for Ottawans to get to Québec City without having to go through MTL.
Quoting Heathrow (Reply 5): On another note, you say YMX was supposed to serve Ottawa as well. When was it decided to use YOW instead?
I don't think YMX would ever replace YOW in full. Mirabel is still quite a bit over 100 km from Ottawa. Even with a complete highway link, it would still be an hour or more away from the city. Can you imagine taking a 45 min flight Toronto only to have to drive another 75-90 mins. Especially after having to get out to YYZ from downtown Toronto. Furthermore, YOW predates YMX as an airport. It has been in use since the 1950s when the airport was still known as Uplands and was a shared military/civilian facility.
However, it can be theorized that if the highway was constructed and YMX was still in operation, we might not have as much Caribbean/leisure traffic or even a flight to Europe (let alone two).
« On ne voit bien qu'avec le cœur. L'essentiel est invisible pour les yeux » Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Marco From United Arab Emirates, joined Jul 2000, 4169 posts, RR: 11
Reply 9, posted (5 years 10 months 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 6893 times:
Also, even if range is eventually not an issue, it might not be financially viable for an airline to fly certain routues such as Dusseldorf to Cochin, or London Gatwick to Khartoum, or Osaka to Beirut or if which is why the EKs and Sq's will always have successful hubs!
Furthermore, Dubai is now a financial/tourism/exhibitions/conferences/media/aviation/healthcare hub for the region and more and more on a global level.
Aircellist From Canada, joined Oct 2004, 1775 posts, RR: 8
Reply 11, posted (5 years 10 months 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 6707 times:
I believe the plan for Ottawa citizens to use Mirabel was mooted when Montréal was the point of entry. At that time, I suppose people from Ottawa had to ride to Montréal anyway, to take their flights to Europe. So, in that respect, having the airport at Mirabel, with the motorway, did cut some time, as opposed to driving to Dorval.
Now, as LH 423 said, the A50 will eventually be completed... Mirabel was used as Montréal's international airport from 1976 to 2004, we are in 2009 and the A50 which was included in the parameters of the original Mirabel plan still is not completed... Well...
Flitemax: I agree, there was something cool, airy, about Mirabel. But the planes were so far! So hard to see. The original terminal at Dorval, which was contemporary to the center of Schiphol and to Orly Sud, sported two observation decks, which were eventually closed, but at least the windows were kept, for some times...
Alas, as the fligths were repatriated in town, all the points from which you could see any part of the runway, from landside of the airport, were closed... Now, inside Dorval, we've got an obnoxious and windowless food court, almost worthy of an average shopping mall, except that the simplest sandwich is a complete rip-off.
MogandoCI From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (5 years 10 months 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 6510 times:
Quoting Sflaflight (Reply 8): Quoting Koruman (Reply 7):
Yesterday's Mirabel is tomorrow's Singapore / Dubai / Hong Kong, or even Denver.
It is very foolhardy for anyone to erect an enormous airport on the basis that passengers will hub there because current aircraft lack the range to fly non-stop to the ultimate destination.
It killed Mirabel and Goose Bay (or was it Gander?) and sooner or later it will kill SIN and DXB too.
I disagree with this. SIN, DXB and HKG are HUGE financial centers. Montreal is not anymore. Yes they may not be connecting hubs anymore, but they sure are big population centers that are well run.
I agree with Sflaflight and disagree Koruman. Montreal's metropolitan population is roughly 3.5-3.7mil. Hong Kong by itself is already 7.0mil, and another 4.0mil in urban Shenzhen just across the border (as close as SAN/TIJ). HKG can easily have that much air traffic by O&D alone.
YMX screwed up because of the whole YMX+YUL fiasco. Singapore/Hong Kong doesn't even have a second airport to allow such a screw up. And COS is soooo far from DEN that most Denver residents won't consider driving there to save that extra $20.
Mind you, even with the most federalist province, government, population, heck, even if Québec had been a completely anglophone province, and Montréal a completely anglophone city, sporting no difference whatsoever with the rest of Canada, even with a thriving economy, I can't see any way that this double airport system would ever have worked. Even with the very best political and economical conditions, the city is just too small, and has always been, for two big airports. Only truly big cities need more than one major airport. Add the weak division of traffic, and you don't need anything else to make everything bad.
True, the fear of separatism had something to do with some people and corporate headquarters leaving Montréal. But did it specifically cause the failure of an airport? No.
I would even go a bit further. Federalists prefer to say that it is separatism which provoked Mirabel's demise, because else, one could ask whether building Mirabel could have been a bad decision, based on a planning mistake... After all, this airport was one of the big projects of Pierre-Elliott Trudeau, the greatest federalist leader of the time.
Let's put it that way: if you believe JFK or EWR or LHR or CDG or MAD (or YYZ, for that matter) could succeed as they do now, with only international traffic, I will admit that it is separatism that caused Mirabel's failure.
EVA777SEA From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 473 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (5 years 10 months 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 6160 times:
Quoting Sflaflight (Reply 8): I disagree with this. SIN, DXB and HKG are HUGE financial centers. Montreal is not anymore. Yes they may not be connecting hubs anymore, but they sure are big population centers that are well run.
No, NYC, London, and HKG are HUGE financial centers, SIN and DXB are not at the same scale as those cities. They have decent and respectable market sizes but are not in the same category. SIN, and now increasingly DXB, rely very heavily on connecting traffic. HKG may see a very slight drop in pax numbers when carriers are finally able to fly Taiwan-China directly (whenever that may be).
Quoting Aircellist (Reply 4): Wikipedia shows two diagrams, one of the lands reserved for the aiport, and the second shows what was built and what was planned.
Wow! That airport looks like it could have easily handled 80 million pax a year! Did they actually expect to see numbers like that?
BA84 From Canada, joined Aug 2004, 420 posts, RR: 3
Reply 20, posted (5 years 10 months 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 5909 times:
I used to fly Finnair YMX-HEL-SVO in the 1980's.
I liked the airport and the hotel (then owned by Canadian Pacific).
What I didn't like were the 'people-movers', buses on stilts which took passengers from the gates to remote stands.
Toronto displaced Montreal as Canada's largest metropolitan area in the 1970s. The process, however, was already underway from the 1960s. It was not so much to do with the rise of separatism as it was with a loss of its industrial base, partly brought about by the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway in 1959, long before the Parti québécois took office. Ships could bypass Montreal and it lost part of its raison d'être, being a major transport and manufacturing hub for all of Canada. Yes, the election of a separatist government in '76 may have precipitated the movement of many of the country's head offices to Toronto; but it was happening already and probably would have continued anyway.
That being said, YMX was a fiasco. It was intended to be a super-hub for transatlantic flights, but four factors prevented this from happening:
1. Airliners could go longer without refuelling and, therefore, didn't need to stop in Montreal anymore.
2. The federal government ended the requirement for transatlantic flights to stop in Montreal.
3. YUL remained open.
4. Montreal's displacement by Toronto as largest city.
"Celui qui diffère de moi, loin de me léser, m'enrichit." - Saint-Exupéry
Thenoflyzone From Canada, joined Jan 2001, 2873 posts, RR: 11
Reply 22, posted (5 years 10 months 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 5875 times:
People, let's get one thing straight !
In the long term, YMX will be back. ADM knows this, which is why they are keeping the airport (at least one runway and a few taxiways) open and functional. Think about it for a second. Why own and maintain a second airport, when it would be very easy to move all the cargo out of YMX to YUL, just as they did with TS, and sell YMX to the highest bidder. It would be a cost effective decision, yet they are not doing it (as far as i know), for the very simple reason that they want to keep YMX under their hands.
Don't look at the decaying terminal building. That building needs renovations anyways, and when the time comes, they'll build a new one. As for YMX now, well it is still a functioning airport.
Bombardier has decided to build the CSeries at YMX. Pratt & Whitney will open up a new engine line at YMX. The cargo facilities are still at YMX, which such airlines as FedEx, UPS, CargoJet, etc still using the airport every single day. Yes, NavCan closed YMX tower and replaced it with an FSS, but that is only due to slacking aircraft movements.
When, and not if, YUL becomes saturated, You will see YMX come back to life. It is already starting to happen, as it saw 12.5 million passengers in '08 (max capacity around 15 million passengers). There is only so much room for expansion at YUL. They are talking about expanding the international and transborder jetty to the west, and knock down the old TC hangars. That's all fine, but the gain that will bring the airport will be minimal. It will still be the same access road, the same clustered ramp up to the second floor for the check in, and the same line-ups during rush-hour at the security checkpoints. Even with the new transborder check in area beneath the Marriott, YUL will become saturated within the next 10-15 years. Sounds like its far away in the future, but it will hit YUL right in the face when it happens, because there is no more room to expand.
All this to say, YMX might be in a coma right now, but it will wake up once again. Just wait.
us Air Traffic Controllers have a good record, we haven't left one up there yet !!
Lightsaber From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 13909 posts, RR: 100
Reply 24, posted (5 years 10 months 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 5817 times:
Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 1): YMX was doomed to failure from the beginning when they kept YUL open and split operations with international flights (except US) at YMX and domestic and US flights at YUL. That killed YUL as a connecting hub and encouraged several international carriers to suspend service to Montreal. Even Canadian carriers cut back their Montreal international services due to the loss of connecting traffic.
Said early and well. Splitting hubs kills the connecting traffic. Yes... other economic reasons would have cut the traffic. But once the political decision was made to keep YUL open instead of scrapping it... YMX was doomed.
Quoting Heathrow (Reply 3): but Dorval being so close to downtown Montréal, isn't that land a bit more valuable?
Its also more valuable for premium domestic traffic. Hence the political push to keep it open.
Quoting Koruman (Reply 7): It killed Mirabel and Goose Bay (or was it Gander?) and sooner or later it will kill SIN and DXB too.
You can hope. But both of those airports serve a number of secondary markets. They'll adapt, survive, and even thrive. There will always be hubs. The challenge is to have a strong hub.
Quoting EXAAUADL (Reply 13): 1, Montreal isnt really big enough to support 2 airports
It will not be in 15 years either. Look at LAX vs. ONT. ONT is downsizing tremendously in this economy. LAX is doing better (but not well), partially due to the estabilished market and partially due to the connections. At some point YUL must be closed for YMX to thrive. (Good luck getting the political will to have that executed...)
I broke up your quote for two reasons. YMX For manufacturing? Sure. As an airport? It will grow 25 years after YUL fills up. It is going to be too easy to offer better connections at other airports than in a split airport system. As EXAAUADL already noted, Montreal isn't a large enough metropolis to support two viable airports. During every recession there will be a contraction to YUL.
Mirabel is the poster child of how not to do an airport for many reasons. The wikipedia article on it has a good introduction.
Quoting EVA777SEA (Reply 17): Wow! That airport looks like it could have easily handled 80 million pax a year! Did they actually expect to see numbers like that?
It was the DEN of its day. Built for decades of growth. it could have served far more with modern terminals and the planned 6 full length runways (which could easily have been made 7).
But note: Quite a bit of land has been returned to the farmers. Mirabel is not going to be able to grow to six runways anymore. It probably could be built out to four though... If anything is to be made of it, the transportation and terminal options must be expanded dramatically. First step is ground transportation. To Hull and rail to Montreal. YUL would also have to be closed. Due to the miss-steps with YMX in the past, I doubt there would be any support to close YUL by either the airlines or Montreal based business.
Lawn set to brown: dang drought.
: How about speculating a bit more? There are two high-speed train projects of hich we hear, from times to times, in Montréal. One is the Québec-Montr
: Besides, I understand one of the two runways at Mirabel was permanently closed. Why have they done that? I know there is no demand for it, but still i
: I dont think it was the sole or even a major reason but so many airlines left YMX between 1976 and 2004, that something was going on. Montreal had Ca
: It's closed, but it's still there (i.e., hasn't been torn up). The CRJ1000 prototype used that runway for high speed taxi runs.
: A lot of people blame Quebec nationalism and the exodus of anglophones and capital that followed the 1976 election win by the Quebec separatist party