Nfld. & Labrador

Goose Bay airfield shut down due to runway issue

The airfield in Goose Bay is currently shut down to regular commercial traffic from fixed-wing aircraft.

Air Canada flights scheduled to land Tuesday night have been cancelled

The airfield in Goose Bay has been shut down. (Katie Breen/CBC)

The airfield in Happy Valley-Goose Bay has shut down to regular commercial traffic from fixed-wing aircraft.

"We are aware of the inconvenience this closure causes to the travel plans of those who use the Goose Bay Airport," Lt.-Col. Andrew Wedgwood, commanding officer of 5 Wing Goose Bay, stated in a press release.

"This decision was not made lightly, safety is always the primary concern when dealing with fight operations. 5 Wing is bringing in experts to assess the situation and hopes to return to normal flight operations as soon as possible."

The closure is the result of a problem with a sealant material that was applied to cracks in the runways during annual maintenance that took place over the summer. Within the past 24 hours, snow removal truck operators noticed material sticking to their tires, public affairs officer, Lt. Trevor Ackland, told CBC News.

The crack sealant was peeling off and building up on the tires of snow plows, according to the press release.

"There has been no reports of buildup of material on the tires of any aircraft at this time. This measure was taken to avoid any issue with arriving or departing fixed-wing aircraft," the release read.

Helicopters are still allowed to land and take off from the airport, and it is still receiving emergency flights.

  "Emergency medevac and emergency fuel situations with aircraft will be taken on a case-by-case basis," Ackland said, adding the airport has not yet had to deal with any emergency cases since the closure.

The runway was closed as of 5 p.m. Tuesday. Experts are expected at the airport to assess the problem Wednesday.

A number of Air Canada flights scheduled to land at the airport Tuesday night were cancelled, according to the airport's website.