REGINA -- The Saskatchewan government continues to oppose a review that could lead to the closure of the Regina airport control tower.

Premier Scott Moe has asked Minister of Highways Fred Bradshaw – who is a commercial pilot himself – to form a united front with other provinces facing the possibility of airport control tower closures.

Nav Canada is proposing to close control towers in seven Canadian cities that had under 60,000 annual landings and departures pre-COVID. Regina is the largest centre on a list, which includes Windsor, Sault Ste. Marie, St-Jean, Quebec, Fort McMurray, Whitehorse and Prince George.

The premier said now is not the time to be doing this. 

“I’m fairly positive that the federal government will consider the fact that we are in the midst of a pandemic at the moment and this is not a decision that should be made at this point in time,” said Moe. 

The Regina Flying Club graduates about 60 pilots a year, many who come to Regina from smaller towns for experience in controlled air space. Rylan Grubb, the club’s chief flight instructor, said the club has voiced its concerns to Nav Canada.

“Obviously safety is our top priority here as a flight school, but I know Nav Canada shares the same values as well for anybody in the air navigation sector,” said Grubb. 

Public consultation ends on Monday with a report expected within weeks. Ottawa has the final say with pressure mounting on the federal government to intervene.