Pangnirtung to get airport security upgrade
New security systems already installed in Pond Inlet, Arviat and Igloolik
The Government of Nunavut says it’s going to upgrade the security systems at the Pangnirtung airport after two recent incidents of vandalism to aircraft.
During the early hours of July 9, a small plane belonging to two Frenchmen flying around the world was broken into.
"They got in here, they made a mess, they stepped everywhere, they dragged everything," said Michel Laplace-Toulouse.
He and Alexis Peltier live in Kenya, and are flying around the world to raise awareness about wildlife conservation in Africa.
Everything was going well until they got to Pangnirtung.
"I believe young guys, kids I would assume, came in there," he said. "They took all of our food, they took some of clothing and more annoying one of the GPS and some of the safety flares."
The two pilots say they will not let this incident affect their experience in the territory but it has affected their pocketbook because they had to replace lost gear.
No charges have been laid and the RCMP is asking for public's assistance in finding who may have done the damage.
A 35-year-old Pangnirtung man was charged earlier this month with mischief and other offences for damaging a helicopter there to provide transportation to a group of scientists doing research in and around Auyuittuq National Park.
"I find it very discouraging when these things happen," said Shawn Maley, director of airports in the territory. "It's an airplane. It's dangerous and it's something we want to prevent these things from happening."
Maley said upgraded security systems have been installed in Pond Inlet, Arviat and Igloolik. One is currently being set up in Cape Dorset, and Pangnirtung and Cambridge Bay are next on the list.
There will be more after-hours presence on site, and new cameras and lights.
Each system costs about $100,000.