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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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  • 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
  • For the record, the farthest-north airport in Canada with regularly scheduled service appears to be Grise Fiord at 76°25′33″N. As of this writing there are two flights a week (Mon & Thu) on Canadian North Airlines. Oct 4 at 19:27
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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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  • 1
    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
  • @jwenting Or maybe they can't fly at night? Winter is about 11 months per year there, perhaps they're fine with the bright part of winter.
    – gerrit
    Jan 27 '20 at 14:24
  • @gerrit not sure about the equipment at the field but pretty much everyone with the training to fly those aircraft will be night qualified as part of their standard pilot training.
    – jwenting
    Jan 28 '20 at 4:38
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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
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    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
  • That's a rather strict definition of "commercial". Charters are definitely commercial and not pre-arranged routes you can just book for example. In actuality "commercial" just means someone's getting paid for it.
    – jwenting
    Jan 28 '20 at 4:40

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