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NWT opening flight registration for Hay River, KFN and Fort Smith

A file photo of WestJet aircraft at Calgary's airport in March 2019
WestJet aircraft at Calgary's airport in March 2019. Sarah Pruys/Cabin Radio

The NWT government says evacuees from Hay River, the Kátł’odeeche First Nation and Fort Smith will be able to register from 8am on Tuesday for flights home.

The Town of Fort Smith on Monday approved a re-entry plan with a tentative date of September 18 for the general public to return. Hay River and KFN also have re-entry plans with dates set to be confirmed shortly.

That means there are currently no set dates and times for flights, but South Slave evacuees in Alberta are told to visit the GNWT’s public safety website between 8am on Tuesday and 8pm on Thursday to register.

“Once an evacuee’s flight information is available, it will be confirmed with them by phone. They will also receive information on ground transportation from designated locations to the assigned airport,” the GNWT promised.

The territory said a separate process for Enterprise evacuees would be organized “at a later date.” Enterprise is the community worst-hit by this summer’s NWT wildfires, with officials previously estimating that up to 80 percent of its structures were affected.



In a statement, environment and communities minister Shane Thompson said launching the flight registration process was “an encouraging sign” for many South Slave evacuees, adding: “My hope is that evacuees from Enterprise are not far behind you.”

Essential workers asked to return to communities by their employer are told not to use the flight registration process.