Gander, town (1991 pop. 10,339), NE Newfoundland, N.L., Canada. Gander's airport, an important base in World War II, is a hub for international flights; it also attracts many refugees. It was the site of a Dec., 1985, plane crash that killed 256 passengers, 248 of them U.S. soldiers returning from the Middle East.

Gander is a Canadian town located in northeastern part of the island of Newfoundland in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, approximately south of Gander Bay, south of Twillingate and east of Grand Falls-Windsor. Located on the northeastern shore of Gander Lake, it is the site of Gander International Airport, formerly an important refuelling point for transatlantic aircraft.

Most of the streets in Gander are named after famous aviators, including Amelia Earhart, Alcock and Brown, Charles Lindbergh, Eddie Rickenbacker, Marc Garneau and Chuck Yeager. Popular Newfoundland entertainer, Kevin Blackmore, better known as "Buddy Wasisname", from the Buddy Wasisname and the Other Fellers was born in Gander.


Gander was chosen for the construction of an airbase in 1935 due to its location close to the northeast tip of the North American continent. In 1936 construction of the base began and the town started to develop. On January 11, 1938, Captain Douglas Fraser made the first landing at "Newfoundland Airport", now known as Gander International Airport, in a single-engine biplane, Fox Moth VO-ADE. During the Second World War, as many as 10,000 Canadian, British and American military personnel resided in Gander. The area became a strategic post for the Royal Air Force Air Ferry Command, with approximately 20,000 American and Canadian-built fighters and bombers stopping at Gander en route to Europe. Once the war was over, the airbase became a civilian airport and the location of the town was moved a safe distance from the runways. Construction of the present town site began in the 1950s and the present municipality was incorporated in 1958 and the settlement around the airport was eventually abandoned.

After the Second World War the town grew as the airport was used as a refuelling stop for transatlantic flights, earning its name "Cross-roads of the world" as nearly all overseas flights had to stop there before crossing the Atlantic. Recently efforts have been made to diversify the economy from being dependent on the airport, particularly as new aircraft designs have permitted longer-range flights without the need for landing to refuel.

Gander was the site of a major plane crash on December 12, 1985, the Arrow Air Flight 1285.

The Gander airport played an important role in world aviation in the immediate hours following the September 11, 2001 attacks when all of North America's airspace was closed by North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), and 39 transatlantic flights bound for the United States were ordered to land at the airport—more flights than any other Canadian airport other than Halifax International. (Vancouver International received the most passengers, at 8,500.) Over 6,600 passengers and airline crew members unexpectedly found themselves forced to stay in the Gander area for up to three days until airspace was reopened and flights resumed. Residents of Gander and surrounding communities volunteered to house, feed, and entertain the travellers in what became known as Operation Yellow Ribbon. This was largely because Transport Canada and NAV CANADA asked that transatlantic flights avoid the major airports in central Canada, like Lester B. Pearson in Toronto and Montréal-Dorval.

Subsequently, Lufthansa named one of its Airbus A340 aircraft Gander/Halifax to thank both cities for their handling of rerouted travellers on 9/11. In addition, a book called The Day The World Came to Town was published by Reagan Books and several stories and segments about Gander's role during 9-11 have been featured on various educational and news programs.

The Town of Gander continues to play a very important role in aerospace today, and to this extent Gander has retained an experienced United States Representative to attract and retain valid business opportunities in the aerospace industry.

In May 2007, Money Sense ranked Gander as the 10th best place to live in Canada. The magazine ranked communities strictly by crunching numbers relating to 12 measurable factors including weather, real estate values, income levels, unemployment rates, discretionary income, murder rates and signs of prosperity such as the percentage of late model vehicles.


According to Statistics Canada 2006 census, the current population of the town of Gander is 9,951, a 3.1% increase from 2001. There are a total of 4,153 dwellings and the town's total area is , with a population density of .

The largest visible minority groups in Gander are Aboriginal people (1.65%) followed by Black Canadians (0.52%) Indo-Canadians (0.3%), and Chinese Canadians (0.15%).

See also


External links

North: Division No. 6, Subd. E
West: Division No. 6, Subd. E
East: Division No. 6, Subd. E
South: Division No. 6, Subd. E

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