Wabush airport in for 10-week shutdown in 2015

Some people in western Labrador are worried about the potential impact of a planned 10-week closure at the Wabush airport next summer.
Wabush Mayor Colin Vardy says the government funding will help the town continue to provide municipal services over the next couple of years. (CBC)

Some people in western Labrador are worried about the potential impact of a planned 10-week shutdown at the Wabush airport next summer.

Transport Canada said it needs to resurface the runway at the airport, and plans to ground all day-time air traffic for the duration of repairs.

Wabush Mayor Colin Vardy said the work will likely have a negative impact on the local economy.

"This will also be prime construction season for possible mines that could be under development here, so transporting people and parts and supplies could be very troublesome," Vardy said.

Labrador City Mayor Karen Oldford says her town, as well as the Town of Wabush, were not properly consulted by Transport Canada before they decided to shut down the airport for work next summer. (CBC)

Waterbombers and medevac flights will be the only aircraft permitted to use the airport during the day, while night flights are expected to continue as usual.

Vardy and Labrador City Mayor Karen Oldford agree the work needs to be done, but feel the towns were not properly consulted before the decision was made.

"Certainly it just highlights, I guess, the need for all levels of governments to work together. And the federal government should learn from this ... that the municipalities need to be consulted when it comes to changes that are happening," said Oldford.

The province wants a better solution, and is writing Transport Canada to ask them to consider other options, saying that "a nighttime operation is likely feasible."

With files from Chris Ensing