Recent History 2004-2006
By Lee Kaiser, 6 January 2006
The future of the flight service centre at the Dawson Creek Airport still remains up in the air. A NAV Canada spokesman said Thursday its fate is still in the hands of Transport Canada, which must decide whether to act on a NAV Canada recommendation to close it.
“The aeronautical study is with Transport Canada and we’re awaiting their response. So there’s nothing to update,” said Ron Singer, an Ottawa-based spokesman for NAV Canada. In October 2004 NAV Canada released a report recommending the airport flight service staff be replaced by computerized equipment and serviced by staff in Peace River. It was estimated at that time the moves would save the organization about $5 million.
The report followed a series of meetings during summer of 2004 between MP Jay Hill, MLA Blair Lekstrom, then-Dawson Creek mayor Wayne Dahlen and NAV Canada. The organization was looking for ways to save money. In November 2004, Hill said it was clear a decision to close the centre had already been made in Ottawa and the meetings were just “window dressing.” Hill also said that Transport Minister Jean C. Lapierre had the authority to override the decision to close the service centre.
A firm date for closing the flight service centre was not specified in the NAV Canada report but it is expected to occur sometime during 2006. NAV Canada is a private, non-profit organization created to oversee navigation and weather reporting in the air transport industry.