Toronto/Buttonville Municipal Airport

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Toronto/Buttonville Municipal Airport

Buttonville Municipal Airport or Toronto/Buttonville Municipal Airport (IATA: YKZ, ICAO: CYKZ) is a medium-sized airport in Buttonville, Ontario, Canada, within Markham, bordering Richmond Hill and 29 km (18 mi) north of downtown Toronto. It is operated by Toronto Airways Limited. Due to its proximity to Toronto's suburbs, there are several strict noise-reduction procedures for aircraft using the airport. There is a weather station located at the airport. The airport is open and staffed 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. In 2010, Buttonville was Canada's 7th busiest airport by aircraft movements.

The airport is classified as an airport of entry by NAV CANADA and is staffed by the Canada Border Services Agency. CBSA officers at this airport currently can handle general aviation aircraft only, with no more than 15 passengers.


Buttonville Airport began as a grass airstrip in 1953 when Leggat Aviation moved their operations from Barker Field in Toronto. The airstrip became an official airport in 1962.


The new control tower's modular design is speculated to be because the airport's licence expires in 2010 and the Greater Toronto Airport Authority planning document for Pickering Airport assumes its closure by 2011 when GTAA funding of Buttonville (which replaced a Provincial subsidy) ceases. The new modular tower is Nav Canada's standard design for new towers and flight service stations, and is the sixth such tower built in Canada by the company.

Buttonville Airport is still privately owned, but may close at any moment due to lack of funds. GTAA has stopped funding the airport causing a $1.5 million loss. GTAA blames the decrease of traffic at Pearson Airport for eliminating the subsidy. Transport Canada has not yet made a decision on the Pickering airport project.

In September 2009, the Sifton family, owners of the airport, announced plans to re-develop the airport from 2009 to 2016 into a mixed use of commercial, retail and residential development. In the meantime the airport will continue to operate and unknown plans for the airport operations to re-locate to another GTA airport (Toronto/Markham Airport) or cease operations altogether.

On 28 October 2010, a press release announced that a joint real estate venture had purchased the 170-acre property on 7 October, which will be re-developed by Cadillac Fairview. Plans include condominiums, retail shops, and office space.


There are three non-precision instrument approaches available: a Global Positioning System (GPS) approach to runway 33, a non-directional beacon (NDB) approach to runway 21, and a localizer approach to runway 15.


The airport has a control tower using the frequencies 127.10 MHz for Automatic Terminal Information Service (ATIS), 121.80 MHz for ground control, and 124.80 MHz for tower (with an additional frequency of 119.9 MHz used during busy periods). When the tower is closed, 124.80 MHz becomes a mandatory frequency. The London Flight Information Centre has a Remote Communications Outlet at the airport operating on the frequency 123.15 MHz. Toronto Terminal handles instrument flight rules (IFR) arrivals and departures and Visual Flight Rules (VFR) flight following on 133.40 MHz.

Flightline is available on 123.50 MHz.

Navigation aids

There are three ground-based navigation aids attached specifically to the Buttonville airport:

  • a low-power NDB on the frequency 248 kHz with the identifier "KZ", located 4.4 NM (8.1 km; 5.1 mi) northeast of the airport
  • a distance measuring equipment (DME) on channel 48 (111.1 MHz) with the identifier "IKZ", located on the airfield
  • a localizer for runway 15 on the frequency 111.1 MHz
Airport Operating Restrictions
  • No practice circuits outside of YKZ Control Tower hours of operation.
  • No practice IFR approaches outside YKZ Control Tower hours of operation.
  • No practice Engine Failure on Take Off procedure (E.F.T.O.'s) in the YKZ Positive Control Zone.
  • No touch and go circuits by excessively noisy aircraft.

It has been agreed with the Airport and the Town of Markham that no circuit practice will occur during specific hours during a long weekend holiday.

New Air Traffic Control Tower

On January 17, 2006, NAV CANADA announced plans for the construction of a new air traffic control tower at Buttonville Airport. It is located at the south end of airport next to FlightExec offices on Allstate Parkway.

The new tower, representing an investment of over $2 million, replaced the existing facility which was built in 1967 and had reached the end of its useful life. Construction began in Fall 2006 and became fully operational on June 26, 2007.

The new tower provides expanded operational space, optimal visibility and the latest in air navigation equipment and technology for 10 air traffic controllers and one support staff who provide service to some 150,000 aircraft movements per year at Buttonville Airport. It is located on the south side of the airport – the opposite side of the old tower.

The new tower was designed and built using a modular design enabling the facility to be relocated in the future. New equipment and technology include the NAV CANADA Auxiliary Radar Display System and the Company's state-of-the-art voice communications switch. Buttonville Airport is one of the busiest in the country, consistently ranking in the top 11 for air traffic volumes.

  • Flightexec, an executive air charter and air ambulance for Ontario Air Ambulance
  • Million Air, an executive air charter
  • Toronto Airways Limited, a flight training school
  • Seneca College's aviation program
  • Buttonville Flying Club
  • 680 News Traffic Unit
  • Corus Entertainment Toronto Traffic Unit
  • Leggat Aviation Ltd., an authorized Cessna Dealership that specializes in new aircraft sales, full service and parts supply
  • CHFI-FM, 98.1 FM Toronto
  • CFMJ-AM, 640 AM Richmond Hill
  • DancAir Flight School Inc., the only establishment in the GTA to offer ultralight flight training
  • Air Partners Inc - maintenance
  • Aviation Unlimited - parts and aircraft sales distributor for Piper, Diamond, Mooney and Columbia
  • High Tech Avionics and Instruments - avionics and instrument supplies
  • Image Air Charter Limited
  • Druxy's Famous Deli

On 25 May 2010, a small Cirrus SR22 4-seater plane crashed on the roof of a nearby building to the airport, which was just 500 m (1,600 ft) away. The pilot and a passenger died in the crash; however, nobody on the ground was seriously hurt. Fire crews quickly doused the flames; rescue crews were not able to go on top of the building to reach the plane due to possibility of structural collapse.

On 20 June 2010, an accident occurred just off Buttonville Airport. The black four-seater banner-towing Cessna 172K Skyhawk, registration C-GQOR, crashed on Vogell Road near the intersection of Highway 404 and 16th Avenue. The pilot, the aircraft's only occupant, was killed in the crash.

On 8 October 2010, a small private plane of tail number C-GOYV registered to a Toronto resident made an emergency landing on Highway 407 close to Buttonville Municipal Airport. The pilot was the only person on the plane and no injuries were involved in the incident.

On 18 November 2010, a Beech 33 (tail number C-GSCZ) with a Seneca College flight instructor and two students crashed in field in Pickering, Ontario. All occupants died in the crash.


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