A traveller waits inside Inuvik's Mike Zubko Airport in April 2018. Ollie Williams/Cabin Radio
Northwest Territories Liberal MP Michael McLeod announced the federal government is committing $31.5 million for a new air terminal at the Mike Zubko Airport in Inuvik.
The federal money comes from a green infrastructure stream of funding as the new terminal will be built to adapt to climate change impacts and natural weather events.
The territorial government is contributing an additional $10.5 million to the project.
Speaking on behalf of Catherine McKenna, the federal minister of infrastructure and communities, McLeod said, “We need to build today for the future we want tomorrow.”
McLeod said the modern terminal will improve the safety and efficiency of the airport.
The design for the terminal includes a public space, baggage systems, concessions, and air carrier operations, as well as space for administration and Nav Canada – the corporation that owns and operates Canada’s civil air navigation system.
Special consideration was given to the foundation design and monitoring devices to ensure the stability of the building’s structure, as well as to wind studies that show how snow gathers around the building to ensure it is accessible year-round.
Territorial Minister of Infrastructure Diane Archie said the 19th Legislative Assembly had committed “to make strategic infrastructure investments that connect communities, expand our economy, and reduce the cost of living.”
Archie, who represents the Inuvik Boot Lake electoral district, said Inuvik’s current airport terminal is 60 years old and improvements to the airport will benefit the entire Beaufort Delta region.
“We will continue to ensure that northern businesses have the opportunity to benefit from infrastructure projects at the Inuvik airport,” she committed.
Inuvik Mayor Natasha Kulikowski called the new building “world class” and noted Inuvik is critical for air transport operations and logistics in the region.
“Inuvik is the most western gateway to the Northwest Passage and an integral part of the North American defense system, we host the most active NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command) base here in Canada,” she said.
Construction on the new terminal is scheduled to start in mid-August and is expected to be complete by 2024. The new building will be adjacent to the existing terminal, which will remain operational until the new terminal is complete.