Skip to comments.Gander international airport’s historic lounge at risk amid growing costs
Posted on 06/22/2014 5:47:21 PM PDT by Squawk 8888
The vintage international lounge at the Gander airport in central Newfoundland is a time capsule where Italian marble and designer furniture still exude the faded glamour of world travel.
Its a vast room, its iconic yellow sofas whimsically arranged on a mezzanine overlooking terrazzo floors and sleek blue chairs where VIPs ranging from global leaders to the Beatles once stopped on transatlantic flights.
It was opened by the Queen as a showcase of Canadian modernity in 1959. But the growing costs of preserving this cultural touchstone have raised the prospect that a more practical, smaller terminal will replace it.
We understand and appreciate the historical significance of this airport and this terminal building, said Gary Vey, president and CEO of the Gander International Airport Authority.
Were hopeful that some solution can be found perhaps to maintain it. But we have to be clear that it cant be at the expense of the airport authority because we dont have a mandate for that.
To put it bluntly, were not in the museum business.
(Excerpt) Read more at news.nationalpost.com ...
All those people in dire need of a place to land on 9/11 ....(and enjoyed the warm hospitality of Gander)...... should consider donating!
Been there many times. In 1980 I witnessed two Israli Air Force Officer/Pilots deplane from their military AC, striding into this lounge while refusing to surrender their side arms to the RCMP, who stood around with stinky looks on their faces, as the two Israelis had coffee and dougnuts.
I’m usually appreciative of period spaces and midcentury international design. But, this one leaves me thinking it looks like a small high school gymnasium.
Longer range aircraft = less need to stop in Newfoundland.
Cool for 1959
Yep, but it’s still essential for emergencies, as is the airport in Keflavik, Iceland. Sydney, NS is a tiny airport with a *huge* runway because it also serves that purpose; it was originally built as an alternate for Gander.
I was there on August 31, 1961, when our DC-6, on a flight from New Jersey to Frankfurt, West Germany, stopped to refuel.
Even the early jetliners had a much shorter range than those of today, so Gander remained quite active for some years after the jet age began; and more and bigger jets caused a new terminal to be needed by the 1950s. For a couple of years, Gander was the biggest commercial airport in the world in terms of runway capacity.
It's practically on a direct path from New York to the UK. These days, we just wave as we pass over it. It still surprises me somehow that over two hours out of New York bound for London, we're still over Canada. The first third of the flight is over land.
Wow. Thanks for that. I had no idea DC-3s ever did trans-Atlantic.
When I flew Toronto-Paris, an eight-hour flight, more than three hours was spent in Canadian airspace. The scale of things in North America is hard for Europeans to grasp; there's a story about a British family who, in the early days of WWII, made arrangements for their children to stay with relatives in Vancouver. They wired the details of when the ship would land in Halifax, asking them to pick the kids up. The relatives' response was, "You pick them up- you're closer."
Enjoyed a layover there on a contract military flight from Germany. Were were on a DC-9. And that was 1996!
1946 - “1 July: BOAC opened London-Shannon-Gander-New York flights by Lockheed Constellations, the first British civilian flights on the North Atlantic. The first flight was operated by G-AHEJ Bristol II (Captain O.P. Jones). A new era was heralded with new pressurised aircraft such as the Canadair Argonaut, Handley Page Hermes and Boeing Stratocruiser, that could fly over the weather.”
American Export used DC-4s from October, 1945, later upgrading to Constellations. Later Pan Am and TWA used Constellations. (Boeing used Stratocruisers in the Pacific, but apparently went with Constellations fro the Atlantic.
Not sure who would have used DC-3s. Stops in Greenland and Iceland?
Looks like Gander to Shannon is 1722 NM. I would be a trifle nervous on that route in a DC3. Better hope you do not lose an engine.
In the Pacific during the war I’m guessing they used ferry tanks a lot. Kind of wonder if DC3s ever went as deck cargo on liberty ships or on escort carriers.
Oh good grief :-) Hey, it’s all in Canada! What would they have ended up doing, putting the kids on a train probably.
Such a pretty place. They could surely move some of the decor to the new terminal as well as some good pictures of the old one for nostalgia’s sake. They could sell DVDs with documentaries of the history — bet a lot of people would buy them.
Makes me think of things like shortwave radio. This Internet has really spoiled us.
Gander still looks like it’s doing a pretty brisk business. They say they serve 20% of transatlantic business flights. But they don’t need all that terminal space anymore.
Oh, and no noise restrictions... bring your loudest craft at any time they don’t care :-)
Thanks Ken....I will enjoy this.
I read ‘The Day the World Came to Town’ and just fell in love with the place and people.
Would hope they’re still as warm and caring as they were 13 years ago.
Canadian rednecks :-)
Please ping me to aviation and aerospace articles. Thank you.
(Actually, even late in the propeller airliner era, Gander was obselete by 1957. The Douglas DC-7C Seven Seas and the Lockheed L-1649 Starliner achieved the ability to fly London to New York City westbound year-round.)
The airport terminal at Oaxaca was built of quarried onyx with a thatched roof...
I think the 1950’s were the last decade for good architecture. I don’t think this lounge is a good example, though.
Most of the people in our company were in sales and liked the proximity and night life of midtown Manhattan, complete with very expensive hotel rooms slightly larger than deluxe broom closets.
I was there for actual work and needed a place for real work and rest, so got a spacious room for about half what they paid not far from a short train ride into Midtown. I remember it mainly because the company beancounter questioned me about how I'd paid so little for a hotel in NYC when I turned in my expense report.
I was just chatting with my neighbour today, he told me about how his late mother put up three stranded families in her bungalow. She considered it a break from the routine.
But I bet they don’t fly them across the Atlantic.
No kiddin !
LOL no, the only ocean they fly over is usually under ice.