About Us

Canada is a big place and finding your way around can be hard, especially in the more northern communities of the Northwest Territories and Alberta. Northwestern Air Lease is here to help you, so you can forget about how you will get there and focus making the most of your stay.

Northwestern Air Lease has been around since 1965. The company started as a partnership providing chartered flights and firefighting services. We now have over 70 employees and are the main airline operating out of Fort Smith providing daily scheduled flights and chartered services for Alberta and the Northwest Territories.

1965 – Humble Beginnings

Northwestern Air Lease Ltd is founded by Terry Harrold and Peter Kuryluk.

1985 – Family Operated

Terry’s son, Brian joins the company as a co-pilot.

1993 – Rural Communities

We added a Beechcraft 99 to our fleet in order to service the smaller communities which have shorter airstrips.

1995 – Jetstream 31

We purchased our first Jetstream 31. The Jetstream has proven ideal for northern commuter flights and has become an essential part of our fleet.

2005 – Fort Smith

Acquisition of a Cessna 185, Cessna 210 and deHavilland Beaver. We purchased the former Big River Air hanger in Fort Smith in order to move forward in the business of remote charters.

2006 – Continued Expansion

We purchased the remaining Big River Air hangars in Fort Smith. The company has now grown to over 40 employees.

2013 – Expanded Fleet

We are now in possesion of eight Jetstream 31/32 aircraft, in addition our fleet now consists of a Beech 99, de Havilland Otter, Cessna 185, two Cessna 206s and a Cessna 210.

2015 – 50 Years!

Northwestern Air Lease celebrates 50 years! Our company has grown to 70 employees.

Family Friendly

Northwestern Air Lease takes pride in being a family owned and operated business. We know how important family is to our customers, employees and community. With you and your family in mind our personalized approach and experienced staff will ensure your experience will be a good one.

Community Involvement

We believe community is an extension of family. That is why, as a thanks to the people that continue to help support us, we make it a priority to give back to the people and projects that make our community great.

We regularly contribute to our community by providing free tickets to charitable organizations and for fund raising at all our serviced locations.

We are a member of Hope Air providing free trips for poeple in need that are unable to pay for flights.

Our company headquarters are located on Treaty 8 territory.

Meet Our Leadership Team

Our leadership team provides decades of experience in the airline industry. They direct our company’s core values and lead by example, plotting the course to the future.

Terry Harrold

Terry Harrold


Bob Morin

Bob Morin

Human Resources

Brian Harrold

Brian Harrold

Vice President

James M. Heidema

James M. Heidema

Chief Operating Officer

Debbie Payne

Debbie Payne

Director of Finance


Northwestern Air Lease currently employs 70+ people. We are always looking for smart, passionate people to join our team and help us grow.

Join our team