North Star Air respects the safety and well-being of all First Nations communities. Due to community restrictions and COVID-19, flight schedules may change.
At North Star Air, the safety and well-being of our entire network, including our passengers, customers, employees and communities, is always our number one priority.
In response to the spread of COVID-19 virus within Canada, North Star Air has undertaken a series of key actions to help protect the health and safety of our passengers, customers, employees and communities and to ensure continuity of the essential services we provide on a daily basis into the North.
We will continue to provide important updates here on our website.
Last Updated: March 25, 2021
Updates may occur at any time. Please check back regularly. Together we will get through this.
March 25, 2021
On March 25, 2021 and March 29, 2021 North Star Air opened their COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Screening Centres in the Thunder Bay and Sioux Lookout Airports respectively. All passengers will receive a pre-boarding test, with results in as little as fifteen minutes. North Star Air recognizes the need to help mitigate the spread of the virus and adding this additional layer of protection to passengers, employees and communities we service is of utmost importance.
FAQ's About Passenger Pre-boarding COVID-19 Testing
What test is being used to take samples?
The BD Veritor TM System being used for Rapid Detection of SARS-CoV-2 is a type of test called an antigen test. Antigen tests are designed to detect proteins from the virus that causes COVID-19 in nasal swabs.
Why is North Star Air (NSA) requiring samples?
Most northern communities have requested a negative antigen/other COVID test prior to entering their territorial lands. At the request of these communities, NSA is requiring screening to improve safety to community members, travelers and NSA staff.
What are the known and potential risks and benefits of the test?
Potential risks include:
- Possible discomfort or other complications that can happen during sample collection.
- Possible incorrect test result (see below for more information).
Potential benefits include:
- The results will allow you to board your NSA flights to remote northern communities
- The results of this test may help limit the spread of COVID-19 to your family and others in your community.
What does it mean if I have a positive test result?
If you have a positive test result, it is very likely that you have COVID-19. You must immediately isolate and report to a COVID-19 Assessment Centre in Sioux Lookout, Dryden, or Thunder Bay.
What does it mean if I have a negative test result?
A negative test result means that proteins from the virus that causes COVID-19 were not found in your sample. It is possible for this test to give a negative result that is incorrect (false negative) in some people with COVID-19. This means that you could possibly still have COVID-19 even though the test is negative. If your test result is negative, you must still report to your community’s COVID-19 team upon entry into the community if you live or work in a northern community.
I have recently recovered from COVID-19 and I have heard I may still test positive…What should I do?
Please contact your local Health Unit and request a “Resolved” letter. If you have recently recovered from Covid, have a copy of this letter with you.
Is this service available to charter customers?
Yes. All customers travelling onboard a NSA charter are eligible for screening as a fee for service. Pricing depends on residency of the passengers and how the charter is being paid for.
Is this service available to the general public?
At this time the service is limited to eligible NSA customers, however plans are in place to offer this service to broader audiences in the near future.
I’ve recently received a negative test for COVID-19, do I have to participate in this program?
Yes, this program is mandated by the communities we serve and must be administered to all passengers confirmed on NSA scheduled flights.
My travel plans with NSA originate in Thunder Bay and include a layover in Sioux Lookout, will I need to be screened twice?
No, passengers only need to be screened at their point of origin unless their connecting flight is originally scheduled for a proceeding day.
I’ve received a vaccination for COVID-19, do I still need to be tested?
Yes. While the vaccines available for COVID-19 help prevent you from getting sick, they do not protect you from transmitting the virus. To ensure an elevated level of safety, all passengers must be tested.
Since all passengers are being screened, do face coverings still need to be worn on-board NSA flights?
In accordance with Transport Canada regulations, face coverings shall be worn at all times on-board NSA flights.
October 23, 2020
Approved Travel Required
July 23, 2020
Face Coverings Required
Under instructions issued by the Medical Officer of Health, all businesses and organizations in the Thunder Bay District Health Unit area must adopt a policy that requires all members of the public and employees who enter or remain in an enclosed public space to wear a mask or face covering. Effective July 24, 2020 all persons entering our hangar facilities in Thunder Bay and Kapuskasing are required to wear a mask or face covering that securely covers the nose, mouth and chin. A reminder that this is also a requirement when entering the Thunder Bay airport terminal. More information can be found here.
May 15, 2020
Passengers Require Pre-boarding Temperature Check
All passengers with northern destinations out of Sioux Lookout and Thunder Bay will require a temperature check prior to boarding. Any passenger with a body temperature exceeding 38C will be denied boarding. complete details here
April 20, 2020
Mandatory Face Mask for all Air Travelers
As outlined here, all air travelers must now wear a removable non-medical mask or face covering large enough to cover their mouth and nose during their travel through Canadian airports and in-flight.
At a minimum, travelers will be asked to wear the non-medical mask or face covering:
- at airport screening checkpoints;
- during the flight when they cannot physically distance from others, including at all times when they are 2 metres or less from another person, except another occupant of the person's private home; or
- as directed by an official of the air operator, the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority, a Canada Border Services Agency officer, or a Canadian public health official.
For full details, including limited exceptions to this mandatory requirement, please click here.
April 18, 2020
TEMPORARY CHANGES: Cargo Hours
Sioux Lookout and Thunder Bay cargo - closed Saturday and Sunday
Sioux Lookout weekday hours - 8:00am to 5:00pm Thunder Bay weekday hours - 9:00am to 5:00pm
April 8, 2020
Next Generation Cargo Practice Offers Maximum in Safety
We are committed to best serve our customers and mitigate the spread of COVID-19 into remote communities we serve. Our Next Generation (NG) Cargo practice offers the maximum level of safety to our customers, employees and communities we serve. Enhanced actions include:
- ready-made product skids direct from warehouse to destination store, reducing amount of touches
- In-community transfer of skids direct from aircraft to store, intact
- during in-community transfer, flight crews practice social distancing and wear appropriate PPE
April 2, 2020
North Star Air Confirms Positive Case
North Star Air has confirmed that a member of it's staff has tested positive for COVID-19. continue reading
March 28, 2020
Further Changes to Procedures: Passenger and Cargo
During these unprecented times, North Star Air is working diligently to ensure the continuity of the essential services we provide and to support the communities we serve in their desire to isolate and prevent the spread of COVID-19 into the North. continue reading
March 21, 2020
No Truth to Rumours
Rumours have been circulating on social media regarding the COVID-19 virus being confirmed amongst our staff in Pickle Lake. continue reading
March 17, 2020
Frank Kelner & North Star Air Take Key Actions in Response to Virus
In response to the spread of COVID-19 virus within Canada, North Star Air has undertaken a series of key actions to help protect the health and safety of our employees, customers and communities and to ensure continuity of the essential services we provide on a daily basis. Read complete measures here.
Reminder of Temporary Changes/Passenger Air Travel
July 23, 2020 - A secure mask or face covering is required by persons entering enclosed public spaces at our Thunder Bay and Kapuskasing hangar facilities.
May 15, 2020 - Passengers require pre-boarding body temperature check complete details here
April 20, 2020 - All air travelers must now wear a removable non-medical face mask.
March 30, 2020 - To ensure the safety of all passengers and Northern communities, pre boarding health checks will be conducted. If you are showing any symptons, you will not be allowed to board.
March 28, 2020 - No passengers will be able to disembark our aircraft until they have reached their final destination, including our northern bases when stopping for fuel.
March 22, 2020 - Effective immediately, for the safety of our employees and to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 virus, we will no longer be accepting cash at any of our locations. Accepted forms of payment are debit, credit card or EMT.
March 21, 2020 - We implemented a temporary passenger schedule that reduces service frequency while maintaining service levels for every community we serve. details here View our temporary passenger schedule here
March 17, 2020 - In order to mitigate the spread, we have suspended all inflight snack and beverage services and implemented pre-travel passenger screening measures.
March 12, 2020 - As part of our safety management program, we are taking all safety precautions to safeguard everyone in our care at this time. This includes revisions to our inflight procedures, implementation of enhanced aircraft cabin grooming processes and flexible change policy. In guidance with health officials, we urge customers to not travel when sick with an acute respiratory illness. We urge customers to travel with hand sanitizing wipes.
Maintaining Safe and Reliable Operations
In response to the anticipated arrival of the CORONA-19 virus, North Star Air immediately assembled a COVID-19 Task Force and put structure in place to implement all necessary precautions and respond quickly to any challenges that arise while maintaining safe operations at all times.
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