In a press release issued late last week, the Stephenville Airport Corporation (SAC), current operator of the Stephenville airport in Newfoundland (CYJT), announced that it had entered an agreement with the Winnipeg Airport Services Corp. (WASCO) to assume management of the airport.

WASCO, a subsidiary of the Winnipeg Airport Authority (WAA), currently operates airports in The Pas, Manitoba (CYQD), Iqaluit, Nunavut (CYFB) and Dawson Creek, British Columbia.

“Our experience operating community airports enables us to take a holistic approach towards airport operations, relying on the expertise of our staff and the entire WAA team to find efficiencies, resolve obstacles and add the greatest value for the community,” said WASCO managing director Michael O’Gorman.

Stephenville resident Lew Short, previously a regional manager for Transport Canada, has been named as the new airport manager.

“This partnership agreement is welcome news for our town, airport employees and region,” Stephenville mayor Tom Rose said. “The new business model for our airport through WASCO’s management services will course a new flight path and future for Stephenville.”

The airport was built in 1941 by the US Army Air Force (later to become the US Air Force) and operated by them until 1966 as the Ernest Harmon Air Force Base. It’s 10,011-foot runway served as a potential emergency landing facility for NASA’s space shuttle when it was operating.

Although Stephenville, located on Newfoundland’s east coast, has a population of only about 6,600, the airport’s catchment area, from Corner Brook in the north to Port aux Basques in the south, is about 100,000 people.

Photo credit: Stephenville Airport Corporation