North

Inuvik's airport gets $22M for runway renovations from Ottawa, N.W.T. gov't

The project is meant to protect permafrost below the airport.

Gov’t of Canada invests $16.5M; N.W.T. gov’t kicks in $5.5M

Inuvik Boot Lake MLA Alfred Moses and Northwest Territories MP Michael McLeod join other officials for the funding announcement at the airport Friday. (Mackenzie Scott/CBC)

The Mike Zubko Airport in Inuvik, N.W.T., is getting $22 million to widen its runway and taxiway embankments, the territorial and federal governments announced Friday.

The project is meant to protect permafrost below the airport.

N.W.T. Liberal MP Michael McLeod and Inuvik Boot Lake MLA Alfred Moses were on hand for the announcement, as well as regional airport manager Jason MacNeil.

MacNeil said the money is really important to keep the airport safe.

"We had some dips that have showed up in the runway in the past that we've dealt with," he said. 

"We've had to redirect some drainage around the airport as well in the past couple years."

The federal government is contributing $16.5 million through its Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation fund and the N.W.T. government is giving $5.5 million to the project.

In a joint news release, the two governments say the work will "increase the reliability of air transportation for approximately 7,000 people in the Beaufort Delta region, including improving access to live-saving health care through medevac services."

Inuvik Mayor Natasha Kulikowski said it's important to keep the airport's infrastructure up to date because other modes of transportation aren't always reliable.

"You see the shoulder season changing and barges can't get to where they need to be," she said.

With files from Mackenzie Scott

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