Construction of the new Mike Zubko Airport terminal is set to begin this fall with a $42 million boost.

A joint funding announcement by the federal government and the GNWT on June 23 announced $31.5 million from Ottawa and $10.5 million from Yellowknife to complete the construction. Work is expected to be completed by 2024 and the old terminal will be demolished upon completion. The original terminal will remain in use during construction.

“Travellers will notice improved passenger experience,” said Minister of Infrastructure Diane Archie. “The upgraded Inuvik Airport will serve residents and visitors alike by ensuring safe and reliable operations for generations to come.

“Improvements to the airport will also support expansion of the economy in the whole Beaufort Delta. We all know Inuvik is the hub for all the communities in our region, so it’s important we recognize that this is not just Inuvik, it’s the whole Beaufort Delta.”

Part of a $180 billion infrastructure program, the new airport terminal is part of a three-phased project to modernize the airport, which also includes work on improving the drainage of the overall area and an expansion of a runway to allow for larger aircraft. The new terminal will sit where the old RCMP building was.

Administration will sit on the second floor of the building and the building will be built to be more accessible for people with mobility issues. Director of Air and Marine Safety Delia Chesworth said the GNWT made a few modifications to the original design plan of the terminal after receiving feedback from a February 2020 consultation with stakeholders in Inuvik.

“There were some very good engagement with the community and a number of tenants of the building,” she said. “We have incorporated some minor changes to the flow of the building. In particular, we did looked at exiting onto the air side to provide additional outlets onto the apron or off of the apron.

“But essentially the building in it’s structure is very similar to what you would have seen at our engagement session.”

Plans to begin brushing and grubbing the area is planned for the runway expansion. After the migratory season has completed construction is hoped to begin on the runway in August.

Mayor Natasha Kulikowski thanked the GNWT and federal government for their support upgrading the airport.

“The town of Inuvik is a unique Northern community that was designed by the federal government to the centre of federal presence and soveignty in Western Canada,” she said. “We host the most active NORAD base here in Canada. “Today’s announcement is a great example of government partnership that will provide Arctic communities with safe and reliable transportation systems.

“I look forward to welcoming residents and visitors on behalf of the Town of Inuvik to the new, modern, and world class Inuvik Mike Zubko Airport Terminal Building.”

Eric Bowling

Your source for all things happening in the Beaufort Delta. Eric jumped at the chance to write for the Inuvik Drum after cutting his teeth in Alberta. He enjoys long walks, loud music and strong coffee....

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