Future of Fort McMurray's air traffic control tower unknown pending review

The new terminal at the Fort McMurray Airport opened to travellers on Monday, June 9, 2014. Supplied.

If a review finds air traffic control towers in Fort McMurray as well as northern B.C. and Yukon are no longer needed, the airports could see less activity in the future.

NAV CANADA says six towers were pegged for review “as a result of long-term air traffic levels, including prior to the pandemic.”

The towers are located in Fort McMurray, Prince George, Whitehorse, Regina, Sault Ste. Marie and Windsor.

NAV Canada says safety is the guiding lens of these kinds of studies.

Between January and September 2020, nearly 182,000 passengers travelled through the Fort McMurray airport.

That number is the lowest amongst data available since 2008.

In 2018 and 2019, the airport saw 54,000 and 51,000 passengers in October.

This year, the airport has reported a 66 per cent decline in commercial traffic and 85 per cent decline in charter traffic.