Goose Bay staff spring into action after runway incident

Goose Bay

An incident involving a German military Airbus A320 on runway 16/34 in mid-July saw DCC staff and contractors spring into action to get the runway up and running again.

The aircraft landed on one of the two runways at 5 Wing Goose Bay (the other was closed due to repairs) and in an unusual procedure, taxied 180 degrees along the runway to the terminal building instead of using the taxiway. The resulting 15 by 15 metre damage to the asphalt closed the runway, leaving the air base without an operational runway.

"In a northern community like ours, 5 Wing is a vital landing base for both civilian and military aircraft, medevacs, emergency landings. Given its role in supporting the defence of North American airspace as well as Canadian and foreign forces in training, having both runways down at the same time was not an option," says DCC Goose Bay Site Manager Carlos Marques.

DCC was called to an emergency meeting to begin planning an emergency response. The idea was to get the runway under repair up and running and again, so the damaged runway could be repaired as quickly as possible. In the meantime, aircraft planning to land at 5 Wing had to delay landing, circling in a holding pattern above the northern air base.

Within three to four hours, DCC crews had the inactive runway back up and running. "Our staff worked really hard to make it happen. It's very enriching to think we returned the base back to an operational posture so quickly," says Marques.

Wing Commander Stephane Racle praised DCC staff Richard Crawford, Gregg Bitsack and Jason Carew as well as contractors on site for their quick response and great teamwork during the emergency.


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