Calgaryís very first airport was opened a few kilometers west of the city of Calgary in a place called Bowness in 1914. The airport itself consisted of a single grass airstrip and a make-shift hut which doubled as an aircraft hanger and airport terminal. In 1919, the very first flight over the Rocky Mountains successfully landed at Calgaryís first airport. Since its conception, the airport relocated to two other sites before finally coming to rest at the north-east end of the city in 1939. It was officially christened McCall Field in respect to a very decorated WW I flying ace, Captain Fred McCall, who was also one of the cities pioneer aviators of the time.
The airport covered an area of approximately one square kilometer that was owned and operated by the City of Calgary.
In 1928 the Calgary Aero Club was formed and began flying and training pilots.
The present day airport site was first developed in 1938.
During the period between 1928 and 1938, the Federal Government aided the progression of the airport by financing approximately $96,000 for upgrades and another $50,000 for the development of a radio range service.
With the outbreak of WW II the Department of Transport assumed control of the airport in order to contribute towards the war effort.
By the time the City of Calgary regained control of the airport, it had expanded to include four new runways and five new aircraft hangers.
The airport began expanding during the early 50ís, increasing its service capabilities and starting the plans for a new terminal building.
The airport now consisted of four runways, the longest being 4500 feet, and five large aircraft hangers that were widely used by the R.A.F.
Canadian Pacific Airlines officially began flights between Calgary and interior cities for the first time.
In 1956, a new airport terminal opened making it Canadaís most advanced and modern airport facility that would serve Calgaryís airport for the next twenty one years.
The airport slowly became outdated as the era of the jet plane arose, despite several upgrades to the runways and terminal building.
In 1966 the City of Calgary could not substantially finance the upkeep or upgrades the airport desperately needed.
McCall Field Airport was sold to the Federal Government for $2 million
The Federal Government constructed a new terminal building and improved the existing runways.
The airport officially became known as Calgary International Airport in 1966.
Direct flights started occurring between Calgary and Amsterdam, Spokane, Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver, marking the international age of aviation for Calgaryís airport.
In 1977 the new airport terminal building was opened.
Transport Canada began work on a very productive operation that would see new land, road, and airfield acquisition and construction over the next several years.
These times officially marked Calgary International Airportís growth into the modern era of flight and aviation.
Pacific Western Airlines was the first company to construct an aircraft hanger that could house a large commercial aircraft.
In 1983 a fire destroyed a number of buildings, including one of the four aircraft hangers, causing approximately $1 Million in damages.
During the 1980ís there were several buildings erected including a Shell Aero Centre hanger in 82í, an Air Canada Commissary building in 84í, an Avis Rent-A-Car service center in 85í, a Tilden Rent-A-Car service center in 86í, and a Purolator Courier office warehouse in 1986.
A new air traffic control tower was constructed in 88í in order to adequately facilitate the expansion and increasing service of the airport.
In 1992 the Calgary Airport Authority became in charge of the upkeep and expansion of the airport, in order to maintain a high level of service and continued growth.
Presently, Calgary International Airport covers approximately eight square miles of land.
The construction of a new air traffic control tower, along with a new operations building keep Calgary International Airport one of Canadaís premiere airport facilities.