West Wind Aviation has joined the community of Fond du Lac in northern Saskatchewan in calling for major runway improvements at the local airport to handle increased demand for air service. A West Wind ATR 42 crashed on takeoff from Fond du Lac in December of 2017 and one of the passengers died later in hospital. The Transportation Safety Board has not released a final report on the crash but it has issued a safety recommendation regarding the availability of de-icing equipment at remote airports. The recommendation from West Wind and the community of Fond du Lac is more about capacity.
Fond du Lac’s runway is 3800X75 and the airline and community are looking for 5000X150 so the airport can take bigger aircraft and operate more efficiently. “We work closely with our regulator to ensure we are following the most up-to-date practices and guidance for the unique aspects of northern airfields such as Fond du Lac and Wollaston” said Michael Rodyniuk President and CEO of West Wind Aviation. “We always operate with safety as our priority. It is currently cost prohibitive to fly large aircraft into the community, because we can only fly a handful of people out,” said Rodyniuk. There are other small communities in Saskatchewan that have the 5000X150 runways including Stony Rapids and Buffalo Narrows.