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.
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.
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.
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