Québec Jean-Lesage Intl. Airport (YQB/CYQB) was opened in 1941 and offers flights to Europe, Caribic islands and of course within North America (Canada, USA and Mexico). A lot of the miners aircraft that begins their route in Montrèal and than point towards the Northern Québec like Air Inuit, Chrono Aviation (an hangar here), Kudilik, Raglan and many more stopping here. Furthermore the local firefighter base can be found here with plenty nice yellow-red CL415. They share the apron with the fleet of the Québec Government. Next to it there is a maintenance hangar for regional aircrafts (E175-E145-ATRs) so you might have a really unexpected visitor.
The airport has a southern part with a lot of light aircraft and hangars. Among them Air Liason and Chrono Aviation can be spotted there as well as the ATR cargo service.
It isn’t easy to rely only on flightradar for this airport so we recomend the use of FlightAware to check flights.
NOTE: This guide is made after only 2 visits (2019 and 2022) and so many locations might be missing or the info might be not 100% accurate.
Written by Tombarelli Federico and Frederick Tremblay. Last Update: March 2023
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| (1 votes, average: 3.00 out of 5)
|Terminals||One terminal for passenger aicraft, miners aircraft have various locations instead depending on which flight they are doing. Bizjets and a couple of cargo airlines go to the other side of the airport near spot 4.|
|Ladder||A small 2 steps ladder might be helpfull at points 3 and 4.|
|Car/Public Transport||Spots 1-4 should are reachable by public transport but we recommend to use a car in the case of runway switches.|
|Drinks/Food||Plenty of opportunities just in the village aroung the airport.|
|Hotels||You are next to a touristic city so you will find a lot of hotels.|
|Season||In the summer you have longer days and so more opportunities. During winter you have more charters for the Caraibes.|
|Security||We never had any issue next to the various positions.|
|General Info||There isn’t a real rule. They change runways really quick so always be ready to switch sides even if it takes a lot of time because of the many traffic lights.|
|06/34||Main runway and used by almost all flights.|
|11/29||Only used by light aircraft|
|Spot #1 – Route de l’Aeroport – Arrivals RWY 24|
|WHERE||This spot is located at the northern end of the airport along the “Route de l’ Aéroport”. Just get onto the meadow next to the corner of the mentioned road and the “Rue Principale” or choose your preferred position, this depends on the angle you like the most. Even if you have the space to stand quite safely, you are on a road so always pay attention to the traffic. Parking is available directly at the approach lights, on a gravel area.
This spot can be reached by bus, too. There is a bus stop at the mentioned corner where bus “78” stops.
|WHAT||All Arrivals on runway 24. Just change side if morning or afternoon. Sunwing was taken from the marked point on the map – Air Creebec from the bus stop, that’s why the angle is that different!|
|TIME||From the mentioned spot you’ll have light from sunrise till around 3pm, but you can easily change the side ( just follow the “Route de l’ Aéroport” for about 1km into northwestern direction).|
|MISC.||Only sky shots. Here you will find some spotter holes in the fence but distance, grass and always backlit make them kinda useless, sadly.|
|Spot #2 – Helico Apron – RWY 24 Morning Arrivals|
|WHERE||This spot is located in a road next to the Helicopter’s apron. Just take Rue Principale following terminal signs and immediatly turn right into “Rue 9E de L’Aeroport”. Go until the end where you will find a parking.|
|WHAT||All morning arrivals RWY 24. Also you have a superb view into the helicopter apron. You are already slightly higher than the fence and so you can take pics of them.|
|TIME||From sunrise to 10am in summer.|
|MISC.||You have a bit of view of the runway so you might try some lineups pics. We never had problems with workers here.|
|FOCAL LENGTH||Beech: 300mm; A321: 100mm|
|Spot #3 – Hangar – Morning|
|WHERE||This spot is located between the Government Apron and the Apron of this maintenance/paint? society. To reach it just follow Rue Principale following terminal signs and then turn right into 7E Route de L’Aerport. Now the tricky part is to park your car as some parkings are private with security cameras. Find a way to leave the car and walk to the spot marked on the map, you will find a fence. We suggest to go to the corner as you will have the best angle for maintenance apron.|
|WHAT||Aircraft parked in front of the maintenance hangar, some Canadairs if parked in the right way.|
|TIME||Morning hours only. Depends on the angle.|
|MISC.||1-2 steps ladder needed (if you are tall or use live view you might not need it).
We had no problems with security during our visit. Just bite and run anyway because you will see no movements from there.
|FOCAL LENGTH||ATR: 120mm; Canadair: 130mm|
|Spot #4 – Chrono Aviation and Heli Express/Air Liason – Morning Southern Apron Movements|
|WHERE||There are two major ramps which can be visited, one is the Chrono Aviation Apron/Hangar (4A) and on the HeliExpress (4B). Just take Rue Principale following terminal signs and then turn left into 8E Route de l’Aerport, now right for 8 Avenue de l’Aeroport and follow it until the very very end, finishing on the left. You will have the Chrono Aviation on your right and some Chrono aircrafts parked there, you can’t miss it. Here you can take pics without a ladder (2 steps tho are enough) from the “hole” that the 2 “doors” of the main gate create. One of the doors also has the wire not perfect and you can shot through it as well. Another option is to continue to the Heli Express hangar. From there go to the fence after the parking and you will see the Air Liason apron in front of you.|
|WHAT||All movements going in and out of the Southern Apron and some Chrono Aviation (4A) and Air Liason apron (4B) aircraft sitting there.|
|TIME||Morning until 10|
|MISC.||We spotted with workers next to us and no one really cared about us. 1-2 steps ladder needed (if you are tall or use live view you might not need it). You can just pass by and hope there are a couple of aircraft parked in a good position for a pic. Not a spot we recommend to stay for a long time.|
|FOCAL LENGTH||Small lens for parked aircraft, depending on the distance.
For taxi airplanes: Convair 90mm; Beech 110mm
|Spot #5 – Trait Carr de La Plaine – 29 Arrivals|
|WHERE||This spot is located along Trait-Carre de la plaine – a street, which is not accesible by car! Parking is possible onthe small gravel area next to the Gate northeast of the spot in a curve of Avenue de l’Aeroport (marked on the map). Park there, walk around the barrier and then down Trait Carr de la Plaine till you reach your favourite spot. Walk from parking to spot takes roughly 5 minutes.|
|WHAT||Arrivals on runway 29.|
|TIME||You can easily move with the sun, so actually all day.|
|MISC.||Nothing nearby, if you need something you have to go back to the village. You can aim thru the fence for ground shots, but haze is an issue.|
737 = 75mm
|Spot #6 – Route Jean-Gauvin South – 06 Arrivals|
|WHERE||This spot is a bit off civilization along the “Route Jean-Gauvin”. It is only reachable by car and you will find some space to park by the roadside, next to some spotting holes. Find the preferred position along the road.|
|WHAT||All rwy 06 arrivals. There are again spotting holes but the distance in quite huge and the grass always cover the wheels.|
|TIME||Morning from sunrise to 10. Switch to the other side as sun reaches good position.|
|MISC.||Nothing nearby, if you need something you have to go back downhill to the village. We never had issue with security. Even if you have the space to stand quite safely, you are on a road so always pay attention to the traffic. Attention: the road is used for Snowmobile and ATV during winter!|
|FOCAL LENGTH||100-150 depending on your position on the road|
|Spot #7 – Route Jean-Gauvin North – 11 Arrivals + 24 Departures|
|WHERE||Just continue northwards on Route Jean-Gauvin from spot 6 till your roughly reach the end of runway 11/29. Again, you can just park by the roadside simply. Then shoot thru the spotting holes or take a ladder and shoot from up there.|
|WHAT||Arrivals on rwy 11, which are very rare though, as well as departures off rwy 24.|
|TIME||From later noon till sunset only. Summer is way better as the road is used for Snowmobile and ATV during winter and light does not come around that much.|
|MISC.||Nothing nearby, if you need something you have to go back downhill to the village. We never had issue with security. Even if you have the space to stand quite safely, you are on a road so always pay attention to the traffic.
Heat haze is an issue on summer days!
A350 = 165mm