Crit­i­cal ad­di­tion

New ILS at Stephenville air­port can’t be em­pha­sized enough: Rose

The Western Star - - FRONT PAGE - BY FRANK GALE fgale@thewest­ern­ Twit­ter: @WS_FrankGale

The im­por­tance of the new in­stru­ment land­ing sys­tem (ILS) at the Stephenville air­port can­not be em­pha­sized enough, ac­cord­ing to Mayor Tom O’Brien.

The im­por­tance of the new in­stru­ment land­ing sys­tem (ILS) at the Stephenville air­port can­not be em­pha­sized enough, ac­cord­ing to Mayor Tom O’Brien.

He said at the reg­u­lar gen­eral meet­ing of Stephenville town coun­cil on Thurs­day that the an­nounce­ment by Nav Canada this week it is in­stalling the new sys­tem at the air­port is fan­tas­tic news.

“Crit­i­cal, crit­i­cal, crit­i­cal,” were the words he used to de­scribe it.

Af­ter the meet­ing, he said the in­stru­ment land­ing sys­tem is so valu­able to the air­port that not re­plac­ing it would have re­sulted in shut­ting down the air­port.

Rose said that dur­ing a re­gional meet­ing held re­cently with may­ors and coun­cil des­ig­nates from com­mu­ni­ties from Bur­geo and Port aux Basques to the Port au Port Penin­sula, one of the top­ics dis­cussed was travel.

“There was great sup­port for Stephenville air­port at that meet­ing and the need for more ser­vice through the fa­cil­ity was dis­cussed,” he said.

Rose said the air­port author­ity, the town coun­cil and com­mu­ni­ties in the re­gion all need to work to­gether to gen­er­ate more do­mes­tic flights into Stephenville.

He said the air­port can’t con­tinue op­er­at­ing with only 7,000 pas­sen­gers a year, which com­pares to the amount of pas­sen­gers go­ing through Deer Lake air­port in a week.

“We have to go af­ter one ex­tra flight at a time to com­pli­ment the ser­vice that’s al­ready be­ing pro­vided by PAL, Porter and Sun­wing,” Rose said.

He said that dur­ing the re­gional meet­ing, rep­re­sen­ta­tives said they don’t like pass­ing by Stephenville air­port and deal­ing with win­ter weather nearly six months of the year and six months of moose.

Port aux Basques Mayor John Spencer said he’s a strong sup­porter of hav­ing more flights at the Stephenville air­port, es­pe­cially since peo­ple from his town have to travel three hours to Deer Lake air­port, whereas that could be cut in half to Stephenville.

Spencer said Port aux Basques has a lot of Great Lakes and Western Canada work­ers who have to drive to Deer Lake or stay in a ho­tel there overnight for flights in the wee hours of the morn­ing.

“There’s a lot of ex­tra time and ex­pense, along with haz­ardous driv­ing as­so­ci­ated with that,” Spencer said.

He said Deer Lake is get­ting well over 300,000 trav­ellers a year, which is great for them, but he would be proud of Stephenville air­port too if it was able to get more flights.

Rose said for all the rea­sons that peo­ple fly, from health care, busi­ness, tourism and more, there is a need to get the Stephenville air­port more ac­tive and a place where peo­ple can fly out of on a daily ba­sis.

He said the Cana­dian air­line busi­ness is not reg­u­lated, so there is no rea­son why the town coun­cil and sup­port­ers can’t go af­ter more flights for the air­port.


Mayor Tom Rose at Thurs­day reg­u­lar gen­eral meet­ing of the Stephenville town coun­cil.


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