Nav Canada agrees to preserve air traffic control services

Brian Masse NDP M.P. (Windsor West) declared victory in the months long efforts to save air traffic control tower services at Windsor International airport and six other airports across the country that were threatened with reduction or closure. Nav Canada announced today that they are maintaining services and there will be no site closures anywhere in the country.

“The victory today to preserve air traffic control services and protect our airports is the collective effort of everyone involved from air traffic controllers, airport workers, pilots, flying clubs, air passengers, cargo users, air craft maintenance personnel, unions, municipal leaders, Chambers of Commerce, trade associations, firms from the automotive to agricultural sectors, and concerned residents in all the communities across the country,” Masse stated.

NAV Canada stated in a press release this afternoon, “NAV Canada is committing that there will be no site closures at air traffic control towers or flight service stations across the country. In addition, the Company will suspend aeronautical studies currently underway related to remote or northern locations until further notice. NAV Canada confirmed today that it will maintain air traffic control service to Canadian communities, including Fort McMurray AB, Prince George BC, Regina SK, Saint-Jean QC, Sault Ste. Marie ON, Whitehorse YT and Windsor ON.”

In November 2020, Nav Canada announced a study considering the removal of seven airport towers across Canada that included YQG, Whitehorse, Regina, Fort McMurray in Alberta, Prince George in B.C., Sault Ste. Marie in Ontario, and St. Jean, Quebec. This is the necessary first step in the process to eliminate services.

At the time, the then Transport Minister Garneau was asked to remove the airports from the study, and he stated he did not have the authority to according to the law. Since then there has been a public outcry, as well as a consensus from local elected officials at all levels to stop this. Additionally, there has been uniform support from the business community as well as airport users and stakeholders that this must not happen.

Removing air traffic control services at YQG would result in an uncontrolled airport which would eliminate commercial passenger air travel and would create significant safety problems for cargo and private planes due to the complex airspace of having five airports.

“This is demonstration of what can be achieved when a community is unified in fighting for public assets. I want to thank all residents who joined us by signing petitions, writing emails and letters, and making their voices heard in the battle to protect this essential service.” Masse stated

Ontario NDP