Trying to pinpoint Winnipeg Airports Authority on a map, the company's services span more than 6,000 kilometres across the country as the ink dries on two exciting new contracts.
WAA's subsidiary, Winnipeg Airport Services Corp. (WASCO), has long been expanding the organization's impact beyond Manitoba to benefit Canadian communities far and wide. By leveraging the skillsets and resources of the WAA team, WASCO provides aviation services and solutions at 33 other airports across Canada, including two recently signed clients on separate coasts.
Dawson Creek Regional Airport (YDQ, pictured above) in British Columbia and Stephenville Airport (YJT, pictured below) in Newfoundland and Labrador are the latest partnerships to be added to WASCO's portfolio. They represent two of four airports in Canada to receive WASCO's airport management services along with Iqaluit International Airport (YFB) in Nunavut and The Pas Airport (YQD) in Manitoba.
"WASCO's goal is to share WAA's aviation knowledge and expertise with other airports to help them meet compliance standards and provide safe and efficient airport environments," said Mike O' Gorman, Managing Director of WASCO. "Airport operations are complex in nature and rely on many systems and procedures to ensure the safety of all, which is where we come in to provide guidance and lend a hand."
While providing coast-to-coast airport management services is a great achievement for WASCO, the company also maintains a critical partnership extending to the north of Baffin Bay. From Grise Fiord to Sanikiluaq, WASCO works with the Government of Nunavut Airports Division to deliver technical services at 24 northern airports.
"The airports are a lifeline in Nunavut," said Trevor Zemliduk, Manager of Airport Safety Programs at WASCO. "It is how remote communities receive medical supplies, food and other essentials for life, as well as gain access in and out of the region."
The subsidiary implements safety management systems and quality assurance programs at all airports in Nunavut to comply with Transport Canada regulations. It is a cost effective solution as opposed to hiring a full-time employee to carry out these requirements at each location and delivers an immeasurable return on investment by ensuring the safety of all airport travellers and staff alike. With this in mind, WASCO's airport contract in Nunavut represents only part of the company's impact and presence in Northern Canada as a whole.
WAA is continuing to expand its cargo sector based out of Winnipeg Richardson International Airport to further meet the needs of Northern Canadian communities, such as by being able to store and transport perishable goods. In addition, the company operates a pivotal transportation hub in the territory of Nunavut - Iqaluit International Airport (YFB). At this time, a total of 38 WAA employees work out of YFB. Many staff members are hired locally and reside in the community, helping boost the local economy as they manage this crucial connection point, which serves more than 170,000 travellers a year.
At this time, passenger traffic for air travel is down approximately 90 per cent in Canada as a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic. Despite this challenging period, WAA's diverse business model is ushering in good news when the company needs it most. These additional contracts, WASCO's commitment to service excellence Canada-wide and a steady cargo sector is part of the company's strategic design to minimize risk and increase security. In many cases, taking the path less travelled can lead to the greatest result, as members of the WASCO team build relationships in every corner of the country, demonstrating WAA's commitment to lead transportation innovation and growth.
Photo credit: Parsons Photography