There is some good news for Castlegar’s Airport — Nav Canada will be keeping the navigation tower at the West Kootenay Regional Airport (WKRA) open.
In October 2020 Nav Canada launched an areonautical study at WKRA and 28 other airports across the country looking at reducing or eliminating services in response to the agency’s financial pressures.
On April 15 Nav Canada confirmed that there will be no site closures at air traffic control towers or flight service stations across the country. However, other alternatives to safely streamline operations including changes to hours of operation are still being considered.
Castlegar CAO Chris Barlow is happy to hear the news.
“Extensive feedback from our stakeholders re-enforced that the flight services station is important to the safety of air carriers, medevac, forestry, charter and general aviation pilots,” he said.
“We understand that future service levels are still under review. The city will continue to highlight the unique location and nature of the West Kootenay Regional Airport and re-state that reductions in hours or service of the Nav Canada tower operations could impact safety and reliability for the region.”
Nav Canada is a private, non-profit corporation. At the Castlegar Flight Service Station, they provide airport advisory service, ground vehicle control service and a surface weather observation program 12 hours per day when standard time is in effect (fall/winter) and 16 hours per day when daylight saving time is in effect (spring/summer). At other times they also provide an aerodrome traffic frequency and a limited weather information system (LWIS). The LWIS provides wind, temperature, dew point and altimeter, but is not capable of providing ceiling and visibility.