A view of the new bright red Iqaluit International Airport terminal.

Te new terminal welcomes the beauty of the outdoors with south-facing windows, which allow plenty of natural light into the space. Te bright and airy interior pays hom- age to Inuit culture. Designated space for Indigenous art as a focal point of the airport is to celebrate the region’s rich heritage. In addition to the art space, locals can enjoy the Elders Lounge and Rotunda in the concourse, which is a multi-use space for public gatherings and events. Considered to be the largest public building project in Iqaluit, the airport had its fair share of obstacles to overcome. As the only transportation link in and out of Nunavut, it was necessary to ensure normal operations re- mained intact during the construction process. Even a tar fire in September of 2015 that caused $1,000,000 in dam- ages did not impede the progress of the build. A key benefit of the project is the Nunavut Land Claims

Agreement (NLCA). Te labour force used to construct the project must have a minimum of 15% NLCA benefi- ciaries. With this agreement in place, a diverse range of training opportunities were required to successfully train and certify the workforce, creating a positive, long-lasting effect for skilled workers in the region. To keep in line with the vision of the project, plans were regularly submit- ted to ensure that the airport included Inuit content to reflect the culture of the area. A percentage of all goods purchased were sourced from Inuit-owned businesses. Building an airport in such a climate has proved to be challenging yet rewarding, as plans for expandability and

efficiency were in play, requiring the build to have many unique features such as a foundation that adjusts its tem- perature to prevent cracks, a self-generating heating sys- tem, and a leading-edge system design for safety, security and efficiency. Te airport is also one of the first buildings in Nunavut to achieve LEED certification. With the new airport, planes can now park by the termi-

nal, eliminating the need for passengers to be transported between the terminal and aircraft. Tose who were fond of the original “yellow submarine”

terminal can be reassured that it will be receiving renova- tions and is still in use for flight services and government offices.

Te emergence of the new airport brings a positive

change to the community. Te upgrades allow for growth and expansion with potential to improve the local economy through added international flights and increased tourism. Iqaluit airport is much more than an airport. It is a place where locals can come together and create memories in a space of their own. Not only will the airport bring people into the area, it will also empower the community to reach the world while providing a comfortable and positive ex- perience for the people of Nunavut for years to come. Nunavut Airport Services Ltd. a subsidiary of Winnipeg

Airport Service Corp., currently operates the airport and will run operations for its inaugural 30-year period. Iqaluit airport is the first P3 (public-private partnership) airport in North America.

Winter 2018 • 19

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