The James Armstrong Richardson International Airport has entered into a new era. After years of construction, the new terminal is now open for business.

"We've been all over Canada and this is one of the nicest places I've been," said one of the airport's first passengers, Roger Chaput.

He isn't the only one saying that. Elizabeth MacFarland says there's no comparison when it comes to the old building.

"I think it's beautiful, I can't believe it's so big. It's just lovely," she said.

The construction of the new building hit a lot of turbulence along the way. It was supposed to be ready sometime in 2010. Problems with the underground pipes caused a delay for the opening date.

The new airport's architect says it has many advantages.

"If you were to look for an equivalent here in Winnipeg, it's like the indoor version of Portage and Main," said David Essex. "It's a great space and a great way to welcome people to Winnipeg, it's our new front door."

Canada's newest airport is also the greenest. Its open concept allows for a lot of daylight to shine in. There are also new restaurants and shopping to keep travellers busy while waiting for take off.

Richard Kubara of Winnipeg Shuttle and Limo Extra Service says his day is already off to a smooth start, picking up and dropping off at the new airport is a breeze.