Regina airport CEO among leaders rallying to save control towers

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Eleven months into the COVID-19 pandemic, silence fills Regina’s airport.

Empty check-in counters line one side of the terminal while the odd employee moves behind reception along a row of vehicle rental desks.

There’s no one on the staircase passengers use upon arriving in Saskatchewan’s capital city. The number of flights scheduled to land on Monday: four.

“It’s almost like a ghost town,” said James Bogusz, CEO and president of the Regina Airport Authority.

Canada’s aviation industry has been among the hardest hit by the pandemic, because of federal travel restrictions and public-health advice urging would-be travellers to stay home.

Read more: Province asks feds to reverse Nav Canada’s decision to lay off air traffic controllers in Regina

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Bogusz said he’s concerned that any comeback in air travel could be hampered in Regina by service reductions to air-traffic control.

Nav Canada, the non-profit body that runs the country’s civil air navigation service, is reviewing airport towers in Regina and six other small Canadian cities. That has triggered concerns from local leaders about the effect on their airports and community businesses…

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