SAINT JOHN, NB – Saint John Airport Inc. is delighted to announce that it has been certified by Transport Canada for low visibility take-offs (RVR 600), effectively eliminating flight delays or cancellations due to poor weather conditions.

“This improved level of service is a real game-changer for the airport, as departures are guaranteed to get out,” said YSJ President and CEO, Derrick Stanford. “We’re dedicated to enhancing passenger experience, and now with flights able to depart at visibility levels as low as 600 feet, delays due to fog are a thing of the past.”

Due to the pandemic, there has been mostly somber news with respect to the travel and tourism industry. The Saint John Airport has been very quiet for the past two months as flights have been postponed. Airlines are expected to resume limited operations at YSJ this summer and as passengers start flying again they will be delighted to see one thing that won’t be returning - flight delays or cancellations due to summertime fog. Saint John is the third foggiest airport in Canada, so this improvement is very good news for airlines, passengers, and the airport’s corporate customers headquartered in Saint John.

Runway Visual Range (RVR) describes the horizontal distance a pilot can see down a runway. RVR 600 indicates the Runway Visual Range is 600 feet, which is considered a low visibility take-off. Previously at YSJ, an RVR of less than 1,200 feet of visual range would have resulted in a flight being delayed, requiring passengers to wait an extra hour or more until visibility improved, or even cancelled.

“YSJ is now one of only three airports in Atlantic Canada authorized for RVR 600 level of service,” said YSJ Director of Operations, Cindy Thorn. “The other two airports are Halifax Stanfield International and the St. John’s International Airport.”

This improved level of certification was made possible by the recent the addition of centerline lighting and a midpoint RVR sensor both installed on the airport’s primary runway. In addition to a Low Visibility Operations Plan (LVOP), staff training, and other improvements (lighting and marking, standby power supply, and circuit design and monitoring). All of these improvements were part of the Airfield Modernization Project the Saint John Airport completed in 2019. The Airfield Modernization Project was made possible thanks to a $10 million investment made by Transport Canada and $4 million by the Government of New Brunswick, plus more than $6 million committed by the Saint John Airport for a total project cost of $20.4 million. The biggest project in YSJ’s history, it was a major undertaking that took 18 months to complete and added an additional $21 million in economic impact for the Saint John region.

The 600 RVR level of service will be officially implemented at YSJ once Transport Canada approves the airport's Low Visibility Operations Plan, expected momentarily.

“I thank the Greater Saint John community for their continued support as we navigate the challenges associated with the unprecedented impacts of COVID-19,” Stanford said. “When travel resumes, we’re determined to emerge better than ever.”


About the Saint John Airport

The Saint John Airport Inc. is a community based, not-for-profit corporation serving the air travel needs of residents of southwestern New Brunswick. The airport (YSJ) is a key element in the economic and social development of the Greater Saint John region with an economic impact estimated at $68.7 million, with more than 480 jobs created directly and indirectly. The Saint John Airport reinvests all profits back into the airport and local communities.

For additional information or to coordinate an interview, please contact:

Derrick Stanford, President and CEO
Saint John Airport Office: 506-644-8607
E-mail: dstanford@sjairport.ca


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