Nav Canada Cancels Tower Closures

Nav Canada says it’s decided to maintain tower services at seven smaller airports across the country but it’s giving no detailed reasons for the abrupt change of tack. The air traffic services company issued a curiously worded posting on its Web site Thursday saying the decision came after “considerable consultation with airlines, airports, industry associations, local officials and internal stakeholders.” It had already issued layoff notices to tower controllers and support staff in Whitehorse, Prince George, Fort McMurray, Regina, Sault Ste. Marie, Windsor,  and St. Jean. It also committed to not reducing staff at flight service stations.

The next day Transport Canada issued an even more curiously worded news release that seemed to congratulate Nav Canada for its decision. “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,” Transport Minister Omar Alghabra said in the release. He also seemed to drop some hints about what led to the abrupt change of course by Nav Canada. “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.”