Nav Canada Notifies Windsor Air Controllers of Potential Job Loss


Air traffic controllers at Windsor International Airport have been given potential layoff notices.

"Letters of Vulnerability" were sent out to employees in mid-January warning of potential changes to service levels at Windsor International Airport.

Windsor is one of seven air traffic control towers being reviewed by Nav Canada to determine their long-term viability.

According to the letter, air traffic controllers could lose their jobs six months from the day the airport is deemed non-essential.

New Democrat MP for Windsor West Brian Masse's says the letter is concerning.

"They're entitled to do this, but it really shows the arrogance as they're preparing in full function to close the tower and shutter it down," he says. 

The move comes days after Masse pushed Minister of Transportation Omar Alghabra to enact legislation to stop the process.

"We did the research and found the solution that's necessary and on Thursday I asked the transport minister to join us in that, but he refused to answer," he says.

Masse says the loss of the control tower in Windsor will have an impact on the local economy, as flights will likely re-route to other airports due to safety concerns.

Windsor-Tecumseh Liberal MP Irek Kusmierczyk says he spoke with the minister on Sunday and says they both share Masse's concern.

"We will not compromise one bit of safety, which I've conveyed to the minister and also to Nav Canada," he says. "The air traffic control service is absolutely critical to safety here in Windsor."

Nav Canada is a privately owned company that is subject to safety regulation from the federal government.

In a statement to CTV Windsor Nav Canada says, "given current financial pressures, Nav Canada must act promptly to safely streamline operations and these difficult decisions have not been taken lightly."

If the outcome of the study shows Windsor's control tower is viable, the letter will be rescinded, according to Nav Canada.


With files from CTV Windsor