Transatlantic Flights Grounded as Canadian Air Traffic Control Center Evacuated
According to NAV Canada spokesperson Michelle Bishop, an electrical panel in the power supply room began smoking, at which point employees were evacuated from the control center. The situation was brought under control with the help of the local fire department and air traffic controllers were back at work within about 40 minutes.
“During the evacuation our Centre in Moncton New Brunswick took responsibility for handling the traffic in Gander’s airspace as per established procedures,” said Bishop.
Flights scheduled to cross the north Atlantic were grounded Thursday morning after a fire broke out at a key air traffic control center in northeastern Canada.
The Gander Center air traffic control center in Newfoundland responsible for the passage of transatlantic flights between North America and Europe was evacuated after a fire broke out, according to the Gander Beacon.
US departing flights scheduled to fly through the control area have been ground stopped at their origin until at least 3pm Eastern time.
The US FAA issued the following notice:
ATCSCC ADVZY 026 DCC 01/27/11 CZX (GANDER ARTCC) GROUND STOP
ALL U.S. DEPARTURES THROUGH GANDER AIRSPACE ARE GROUND STOPPED DUE
TO GANDER DECLARING ATC ZERO STATUS. FCA005 CAPTURES ALL FLIGHTS
ENTERING CZX AIRSPACE FROM THE U.S. UNTIL 2000Z. UPDATES WILL FOLLOW
NOTAM from NAV Canada:
CZQX GANDER ACC AND GANDER RDO EVACUATED.
UNLESS ALREADY COORDINATED, TRAFFIC PLANNED TO ENTER GANDER’S AREA
FROM EDMONTON, MONTREAL, MONCTON, REYKJAVIK, SONDRESTROM, NEW YORK
OR SANTA MARIA CONTROL AREAS, MUST BE RECLEARED TO AVOID GANDER’S
AREA. GANDER RADIO IS NOT ABLE TO RELAY CLEARANCES.
ALL NAVAIDS UNMONITORED.
TIL APRX 1101271800