Nfld. & Labrador

Baby born on flight diverted to Gander, N.L.

In what may be a first for a central Newfoundland airport, a mother and newborn baby appear to be healthy in a Gander hospital after the child was born mid-flight in Canadian airspace.

Case may pose immigration question, given Florida-to-Qatar flight's presence in Canadian airspace

A flight headed to Doha, Qatar, was diverted to Gander Monday morning when a pregnant woman went into labour, later delivering her baby on the plane. (Panom Pensawang/Shutterstock)

A baby born on an international flight diverted to central Newfoundland is in hospital with its mother in what is sure to be an interesting case for immigration and citizenship officials.

Crews at Gander International Airport were notified around 4:30 a.m. Monday about a Qatar Airways flight that needed to divert due to a medical emergency.

The emergency? It turns out a woman had gone into labour.

A baby born on a flight diverted to Gander International Airport in central Newfoundland is sure to make an interesting case for immigration and citizenship departments. (CBC)

"There was two doctors on board, which was fortunate for the mom and the baby for sure," said Brian Hicks, manager of safety and security at Gander International. The flight was diverted to Gander, "and 30 minutes prior to landing, the baby was born."

Hicks said it's fairly common for a doctor or nurse to be on most flights, but the mom was certainly lucky two physicians were able to help in the delivery.

The flight had departed from Miami, Fla., and was headed to Doha, the capital of Qatar.

According to Hicks, it's fairly common for the airport to receive flights diverted for medical emergencies. However, this is the first time a plane has landed with a new passenger added mid-flight.

Hicks said the mother and newborn baby were healthy in hospital in Gander last he heard, but he's not sure how citizenship will handle the situation.

"It's Canadian airspace over Canadian territory, so that's an interesting question for immigration for sure."

There was no immediate word on the nationality of the mother.

Hicks added after the mother and baby were removed from the flight. The plane refuelled and continued to its destination.