The airport is designed for use by large airplanes on overseas flights, and includes a 10006 x 200 ft asphalt runway with centreline lighting for low-visibility operations, as well as a smaller 6010 x 150 ft asphalt runway. In late 2007, Trade Port Co. and Citi Corp. bought land from the city of Hamilton to expand runway 06/24 to 9000 ft. This is expected to happen sometime between 2015 and 2019. It serves as an alternate and reliever for nearby Toronto Pearson International Airport. The airport is situated 40 mi (65 km) from downtown Toronto and 6 NM southwest of Hamilton.
In 2000 WestJet expanded to Canada's eastern region, choosing Hamilton as the airline's eastern region hub, and flying to destinations from Newfoundland and Labrador to British Columbia. In April 2004, seeking to compete with Air Canada for business travelers, WestJet moved its eastern hub from Hamilton to Toronto Pearson International Airport in Mississauga. While Hamilton retained flights to many destinations, all of the service between Hamilton and Montreal and Ottawa was moved to Toronto. In the wake of the WestJet pullout, CanJet began service to Hamilton in 2003. Then in the spring of 2005, two weeks after Air Canada Jazz announced it would enter the local market with service from Hamilton to Montreal and Ottawa, Canjet announced a complete withdrawal from Hamilton.
The airport is classified as an airport of entry by NAV CANADA and is staffed by the Canada Border Services Agency. CBSA officers at this airport currently can handle aircraft with no more than 250 passengers; however, they can handle up to 450 if the aircraft is unloaded in stages.
The airport also hosts the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum.
Flyglobespan, which flew to Hamilton between 2007 and 2009 referred to the airport as Toronto Hamilton International Airport.
The airport received notoriety when a chartered Boeing 707 carrying rock band Bon Jovi skidded off the runway in January, 2006.
In some cases for cargo, Hamilton may receive a Antonov An-124 or a Boeing 747. The most common of those aircraft is the An 124 Ruslan
Citing high fuel prices, Air Canada Jazz withdrew its service from Hamilton airport on July 31, 2008.