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Nav Canada won’t trim services

Whitehorse’s air traffic control workers will be heaving a sigh of relief along with the airport workers,

By Tim Giilck on April 19, 2021

Whitehorse’s air traffic control workers will be heaving a sigh of relief along with the airport workers, airlines and travellers over the news that Nav Canada is pulling back on its intention to reduce services to small airports such as the Erik Nielsen facility. The move comes after months of discussion about possible cuts following a steep loss of revenue for Nav Canada largely due to the pandemic. Other classifications of staff would have remained in the Whitehorse tower, essentially acting as an advisory service to pilots on such conditions as weather.

Yukon MP Larry Bagnell said Friday, “I was very pleased to see today, that Nav Canada is suspending its review of potentially reducing services in remote and northern locations, including in Whitehorse. This is something that was of great concern to our community, and I have met with officials at Nav Canada to express and to convey that message. Many Yukoners joined me in this effort to protect air traffic control services in Whitehorse.” 

Due to the interregnum in swearing in a new Yukon government, no one was available to comment further locally. The opposition raised the issue in the legislature in late 2020. Omar Alghabra, the federal minister of Transport, issued this statement to acknowledge Nav Canada’s decision to maintain air traffic control service to several Canadian communities, including Whitehorse, Prince George, B.C., Fort McMurray, Alta., Regina, Sault Ste. Marie and Windsor, Ont., and Saint Jean, Que.: 

“As Canada’s minister of Transport, I am pleased to see that Nav Canada has committed to no closures at air traffic control towers or flight service stations, as well as at northern and remote locations, across the country.  “I also welcome Nav Canada’s commitment to maintaining a continuous dialogue with their employees, stakeholders and communities as Canada’s air transport sector responds to the ongoing pandemic. “Maintaining appropriate service in our local communities will allow Nav Canada to continue to provide air navigation services required to support industry today and throughout the recovery. 

“The Government of Canada will continue to work with partners to respond to these challenging times, and we will build back better.

As always, we will work together to ensure the safety of Canadians and the travelling public.”