Nav Canada is considering closing its Castlegar operation. Photo: Betsy Kline

Nav Canada is considering closing its Castlegar operation. Photo: Betsy Kline

Air Traffic Specialist Association: Flight Service Specialists needed at Castlegar’s airport

Nav Canada is considering closing Castlegar Flight Service Station

Submitted by Elizabeth O’Hurley, President Air Traffic Specialists Association of Canada

It is important for people to understand the impact that Flight Service Specialists (FSS) have on aviation safety and efficiency at the West Kootenay Regional Airport.

It is especially important, because Nav Canada, Canada’s air-navigation service provider, is considering closing Castlegar Flight Service Station.

RELATED: Nav Canada considering closing station at West Kootenay Regional Airport

FSS have been providing service here for thirty years. Their geographical knowledge, familiarity with local weather, and relationships with users make a huge impact on flight planning and in-flight decision-making. FSS also co-ordinate immediate emergency responses, when needed.

Traffic numbers (arrivals/departures) are one way to look at service requirements. Another more important consideration is safety. Castlegar is one of the most challenging airports to use in North America. FSS, working from the airport tower, make the difference in safety by relaying traffic information to pilots who may not be able to see or hear each other due to altitude, line-of-sight issues, and terrain. Without flight service specialists, situational complexity, pilot workload, and risk of collision can increase quickly.

FSS bridge an enormous safety gap for pilots operating below the mountain ridgelines. Within these narrow flight corridors, there is very little room for error. FSS give pilots the confidence and information they need to operate safely at WKRA, and even assist aircraft flying into Nelson and Trail, on a regular basis.

Every flight is critical for the growth and well-being of communities in the West Kootenays. Medevac services, aerial firefighting, commercial travel, and recreational pilots all benefit from the expertise that FSS give to pilots navigating our challenging landscape. Losing our FSS means losing the eyes, ears, and voice of air traffic safety in our airport tower, and in our community.

Please support your FSS.

Elizabeth O’Hurley

President Air Traffic Specialists Association of Canada

Unifor Local 2245



betsy.kline@castlegarnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Air Travelcastlegar

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Crews retrieved the overturned commercial truck from the crash scene on Friday, Nov. 20. Photo: Betsy Kline
UPDATE: Kootenay woman dies in Genelle collision

The incident occurred Thursday, Nov. 19.

A man wearing a face mask to help curb the spread of COVID-19 walks in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
104 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health

IH is reporting the new numbers since Friday, Nov. 20

Photo: Trail Times
Castlegar man and woman arrested in downtown Trail

Police allege the truck they were in had a stolen licence plate on the rear

USA Today ranked the City of Rossland as it’s top Canadian ski town, and no. 2 in all of North America, while Nelson was ranked no. 10 overall. Photo: Jim Bailey.
Rossland and Nelson rank among top North American ski towns

USA Today ranked two West Kootenay communities among Top 10 Ski Towns in North America

Trail RCMP seized illicit drugs, cash and a weapon following a traffic stop in West Trail on Nov. 18. Photo: Trail RCMP
West Kootenay man, woman face drug charges after traffic stop

Police report that three types of illicit drugs were seized as well as cash and a Taser

People wearing face masks to help curb the spread of COVID-19 cross a street in downtown Vancouver, on Sunday, November 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. reports 17 COVID deaths, 1,933 new cases as hospitalizations surge over the weekend

There are 277 people in hospital, of whom 59 are in ICU or critical care

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

An aerial shot of Cedar Valley Lodge this past August, LNG Canada’s newest accommodation for workers at the project site in Kitimat. This is where several employees are isolating after a COVID-19 outbreak was declared last Thursday (Nov. 19). (Photo courtesy of LNG Canada)
Forty-one positive COVID-19 cases associated with the LNG Canada site outbreak in Kitimat

Thirty-four of the 41 cases remain active, according to Northern Health

Workers arrive at the Lynn Valley Care Centre seniors home, in North Vancouver, B.C., on Saturday, March 14, 2020. It was the site of Canada’s first COVID-19 outbreak in a long-term care facility. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Rapid tests ‘not a panacea’ for care homes, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

B.C. lacks capacity for daily tests of thousands of workers

(Delta Police Department photo)
Cannabis edibles found in Halloween bag lead B.C. police to illegal lab

Delta police arrested a man and a woman while executing a warrant at a residential property Nov. 20

A woman being arrested at a Kelowna Value Village after refusing to wear a mask on Nov. 22.(@Jules50278750/Twitter)
VIDEO: Woman arrested for refusing to wear mask at Kelowna Value Village

RCMP claims the woman was uncooperative with officers, striking them a number of times and screaming

B.C. Liberal MLA Shirley Bond questions NDP government ministers in the B.C. legislature, Feb. 19, 2020. (Hansard TV)
Cabinet veteran Shirley Bond chosen interim leader of B.C. Liberals

28-member opposition prepares for December legislature session

Motorists wait to enter a Fraser Health COVID-19 testing facility, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, November 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID-19: What do rising positivity rates mean for B.C.? It’s not entirely clear

Coronavirus cases are on the rise but the province has not unveiled clear thresholds for further measures

Most Read