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Wabush Airport (YWK) is a Transport Canada run airport located in Wabush, NL that currently has a small but vital aircraft rescue and firefighting (ARFF) service. It services the remote communities of Wabush and Labrador City in Newfoundland and Labrador, as well as Fermont, Quebec and is an essential transportation link for its peoples.

Transport Canada is considering eliminating the ARFF service at YWK. We believe that this decision is being made bureaucratically and has nothing to do with the safety of the travelling public or the neighbouring communities.

One way airport operators like Transport Canada use to justify the elimination of ARFF services is due to the reduction in what is called scheduled aircraft movements. This number, however, does not recognize any chartered flights that use the airport. In simple terms, an airport may have 10 scheduled aircraft movements however it may receive another 10 chartered aircraft movements. Since the law says that they only count the scheduled aircraft movements, services like firefighting are based on 10 aircraft movements and not the total of 20.

The communities of Labrador West and Fremont deserve better. They deserve access to specialized aircraft firefighters just like everyone else across Canada.

UCTE will do everything in its power to stop the elimination of firefighters at YWK. As a first step, we have written to the Minister of Transport, Marc Garneau to make him explain why this is even being considered.

We will update our website as things progress.

To see the letter we send to the Minister of Transport, Marc Garneau

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