5 Wing Goose Bay public access changing

Access for members of the public to 5 Wing Goose Bay will be changing soon for recreational users.
Living allowances have been frozen for five years for service members posted in 5 Wing Goose Bay. (CBC)

Access for members of the public to 5 Wing Goose Bay will be changing soon for recreational users.

The base is a favourite spot for people one snowmobiles, ATVs and bikes.

Base Commander Michael Ward said they will be closing the gates and restricting access to the ranges and training area.

"What 5 Wing's tried to do is balance the citizen's enjoyment of that area with our requirements to ensure their safety," Ward said.

"The closure of the gates was in response to some improper use and illegal dumping that was occurring back in our — what you could call — the back 40. But really, it relates to the safety and the liability concerns that come along with that, with having a lot of people back there, and the safety concerns that we have to address."

Ward said there will be a fence line constructed to modernize the base and bring 5 Wing up to the security standards of the Royal Canadian Air Force.

"We're doing this in a deliberate manner, and we're doing it with the full understanding that we have to balance full military security requirements with the access requirements of the people of Labrador," he said.

"I think it's important to understand that Goose Bay 5 Wing is kind of unique in the RCAF in the fact that there are areas of private land inside the base property, so obviously the terminal, all the private businesses up on the flight line, those need to be accessed at all times, and that is unique in the air force."

According to Ward, the fencing off of certain parts of the base will allow 5 Wing staff to ensure that if a security issue arises, there is a way to block off core operational areas to the public.

Ward said he has met with people from Happy Valley-Goose Bay who access the base for recreational use, and they have cleared a safe route along the multi-use trail.


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