Air Ambulance Services (Ornge):
When an emergency medical situtation arises, the length of time in which proper treatment is received can greatly affect the quality of one's life.
Our local hospitals can stabilize a patient, but are not equipped for speciality care. Residents and visitors on the Peninsula requiring transportation to a facility specializing in their specific needs (ie Toronto, London, Kitchener) would face an average 3-hour drive (triple the time of a 'Life Flight') if the Air Ambulance service was not available from WKIA.
Many people in our area enjoy spending the day on the lake. The Coast Guard equipment at WKIA works to keep everyone on the water safe by tracking the location and movements of vessels and transmitting this data to on-board navigation devices (aids in collision avoidance and emergency locating services), as well as receives distress signals from both recreational and commercial vessels for this section of the Great Lakes.
The weather station at WKIA provides a constant stream of data for Environment Canada forecasts. Digitized equipment is able to instantly report significant changes in weather conditions, which is necessary information for the 300-500 Canadian and US commercial, military and recreational aircraft flying through this corridor (between Pearson International and Sault St. Marie Airports). Special synoptic observations are reported every 6 hours for the WMO (World Meteorological Organization). combined with similar reports from designated weather stations around the world, giving climatologists an instant weather picture of the entire globe.
Each aircraft that lands at WKIA brings people to our community. These visitors patronize businesses and utilize available services during their stay here, both in our community and neighbouring communities (Northern Bruce Peninsula, Saugeen Shores, Owen Sound).
Goods and services are also transported into and out of our community through the WKIA.
Search & Rescue:
Boating, camping, skiing, hunting, swimming, snowmobiling, hiking… there are many ways to enjoy the vast expanse of nature on the Bruce Peninsula - but a change in the weather, equipment failure, wrong turn or medical issue can quickly turn an enjoyable hobby into a deadly situation, even for the most experienced individuals. Not only is WKIA the closest airport with fuel available for the S&R aircraft, it is located only 5 minutes from the Hospital - if the rescued parties require medical attention, an ambulance and EMS professionals will be waiting on the tarmac to stabilize & transport the patient(s).
A bank of transmitters and receivers located at WKIA, operating on different frequencies controlled by the Toronto Area Control Centre from Pearson Airport assign operating altitudes, supply weather information (generated at the WKIA weather station), sequence aircraft for landings if they are going into northern U.S. airports, and generally keep all aircraft well separated and on a safe route.
The Bruce Peninsula is surrounded by water, boasts kilometres of forest, and is in close proximity of a nuclear facility… these, as well as seismic faults and weather phenomena could result in our area experiencing a natural or man-made disaster. WKIA is a vital component in the event of this type of emergency - it is able to facilitate a mass evacuation, can be utilized as a base of operations or temporary shelter, and may be the only access for incoming supplies and resources.