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I'm hoping to be living in Canada for a year shortly. I have a slight rivalry with friends about travelling north. My record is Murmansk, but it's about to be beaten by someone who is going to Tromsø, Norway (@Stuart). What's the furtherest north you can fly into? I'm assuming something like Svalbard (ironically with flights from Tromsø and Murmansk), but wondering if something can beat that?

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+1 for winning :) – Stuart Jan 29 '12 at 23:13
I was asked to define 'commercial flight', so I suppose you need to define 'commercial airport'. – Stuart Jan 30 '12 at 14:48
not really, as all passenger, cargo, air-taxi all still have to use an airport. So any of them, I guess, as long as I can get onto a plane going there :) – Mark Mayo Jan 31 '12 at 13:07
up vote 8 down vote accepted

Wikipedia has a very cool list for such kind of questions. It is called the List of northernmost items.

As you can see there, there are two possible candidates:

  • Airport, permanent without scheduled flights: Alert Airport, Nunavut, Canada 82°31′04″N 062°16′50″W

  • Airport, permanent with scheduled flights: Svalbard Longyear Airport, Svalbard, Norway 78°14′46″N 15°27′56″E

Now it gets difficult. You're asking for a commercial airport. The one in Nunavut is located in the northernmost permanent settlement in the world. So I think it is a clear win. The problem is, there is only twice a year a military flight to supply this settlement with goods. But it seems that you can get a trip with this plane.

If you think a commercial airport is only an airport with scheduled flights, your assumption Svalbard is correct.

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it's not 2 flights, actually. It's 2 intervals during the year in which flight operations are executed there (at a frantic pace so as to get as much in as possible before it closes again). Most likely the runway is useless in summer because it melts, in winter because of constant blizzard conditions. – jwenting Jan 30 '12 at 12:46

According to wikipedia the northern most permanent airport with a regular schedule is indeed Svalbard (78°14′46″N 15°27′56″E).

I imagine there are possibly some further north in Canada but they may not have commercial flights.

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define "commercial flights". Do you mean scheduled airliner service or air taxis, charters, etc. – jwenting Jan 30 '12 at 12:42
I define commercial as a regular scheduled flight that anyone can book that provides passengers and cargo services along a publicly advertised route. – Stuart Jan 30 '12 at 14:46

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