Pennfield Ridge, NB (YPN)

Pennfield Ridge (YYP)
by George Brien, Contributor: TCA/Air Canada retirees "Netletter"

    In 1947, the Dept of Transport had taken over the operation of the Pennfield Airport, as the RCAF moved out. TCA realized that this airport, on a main highway from Saint John would serve the city much better than the long dirt roads up to Blissville and on Apr 1 1947, Blissville was closed and the Pennfield Ridge Airport (YYP) was opened for scheduled service with all DC3 service.

    A new route from Halifax/Yarmouth/Saint John/Boston also began on Apr 1 1947 and the Halifax Montreal flight now stopped in Pennfield.

    The TCA Station Manager was Bill Hegan and Customer Service Supervisor was Freddie Robinson. Ziggy Ziggerchuk and Bill Scott were two of the Radio Operators. Bob Anderson was one of the Ramp crew.

    I understand that the staff used the H buildings for housing.

    TCA minimum Navigation equipment at airports included the installation of a “Radio Range” type of instrument landing system.

    This allowed the pilots to line up on the runway and descend down as low as 400 feet and visibility of one half mile. With the threat of fog off the Bay of Fundy, this certainly was a help although many time, diversions had to be made to the alternative airport at Blissville.

    Fred Briscombe, TCA retiree recalls:

    "I can relate to the memories of Pennfield Ridge as I was transferred from Montreal to Saint John on the opening of Pennfield Apr 1st 1947 Agent in charge of reservation at Saint John. Blissville was still being used as an alternate to Pennfield based on weather conditions . I recall that we would check with the airport approx 1 hour prior departure of flights on foggy or rainy days to see if they were still operating . We had an arrangement with the Limousine Co to phone the office in Saint John about half way to Pennfield to ascertain the flight would be landing in Pennfield , if not, it would use Blissville and the limousine would then divert to Blissville. We did this on many occasions."

    In June 1951, Hugh McElliott who was District Sales Manager, was reporting over 1000 passengers a month through Pennfield, these figures are a bit deceiving as it included through passengers.

    Ten DC3 flights a day operated through Pennfield by that time.

    By December 31 1951 TCA moved its staff from Pennfield over to the new airport In Saint John.

Timetable of flights through Pennfield/Saint John  (cicra 1950).

SOURCE: George Brien - used with permission.

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