Community-Managed Airports Salute Lifting of Interprovincial Travel Ban
(June 30) Newfoundland and Labrador’s airports applaud the Province’s decision to open an Atlantic Canadian bubble on July 3.
A robust air transportation network is vital in Newfoundland and Labrador. Separated by an ocean from the rest of the country and the world’s largest trading blocs, our province needs dependable, timely, competitive air linkages to prosper. If those linkages weaken, Newfoundland and Labrador becomes an less attractive place in which to live, work, visit, invest and do business.
Provincial airports are expecting modest increases in passenger travel as demand remains supressed, but the Atlantic Bubble represents a crucial first step toward economic recovery. Visiting tourists are only one part of the need for viable airports. Our Province’s airports play critical roles in fostering export, growing business, moving fly in/fly out workforce and connecting families and loved ones. From a public safety perspective, airports facilitate services such as emergency Medevac services, Coast Guard, search and rescue, aerial firefighting, police and military operations. We have supported all of these essential services throughout this pandemic safely and prevented the spread of Covid-19.
Going forward, airports will continue to play a role in ensuring a safe travel framework for Newfoundlanders and Labradorians and aim to play a strategic role in economic recovery. The airline and airport community have demonstrated a longstanding commitment to safety as our highest priority. Our industry is working with public health agencies to ensure an end-to-end travel framework that preserves public health and restores consumer confidence. The nation’s airlines and airports have adopted measures including sanitization and disinfecting of high touch surfaces, temperature checks for passengers, facemasks throughout the travel journey, social distancing where possible and tracing standards to increase health and safety for travellers and our workforce.
Our industry has adapted and is taking all necessary protocols and going above and beyond. People have been moving safely throughout this pandemic the past few months including mobile workers and essential employees. With proper precautions in place, it is safe to travel.
As provincial airports, we recognize that there is a widely spread sentiment that visitors to our Province be restricted and some would hold the view that airports should be closed. For this reason, the decision to be part of an Atlantic Bubble made by Premier Ball and his medical and economic counsel warrants particular praise. We agree with the Province’s approach that seeks to balance safeguarding public health while ensuring we nurture our economic recovery.