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Ready, set, go: New Iqaluit airport terminal expected to open Aug. 9

Travellers in Iqaluit could be using the city's new airport terminal in less than two weeks.

$300 million airport terminal project has been underway since July 2014

The new $300 million Iqaluit airport terminal is expected to open on Aug. 9. The grand opening is tentatively set for September.

Travellers in Iqaluit could be using the city's new airport terminal in less than two weeks.

The $300 million construction project has been underway since July 2014 and is set to open Aug. 9. The new terminal — eight times the size of the old terminal — is expected to serve Nunavut for the next 50 years.

John Hawkins, the airport manager, said the plan is to have the new terminal open for at least a month before the grand opening, tentatively set for Sept. 13.

"You don't want to do a ceremonial opening on the day [we] go live for the first time because things can go wrong," Hawkins said.

"You know the first day is obviously going to be a big change for everybody here."

John Hawkins, Iqaluit airport manager, expects the new terminal to open on Aug. 9. (CBC)

The Aug. 9 opening is not a hard date. Hawkins said even he won't know until a few days prior if the terminal will open that day.

"There's still a couple of things that could happen between now and then, a lot of testing of systems," Hawkins said. "They seem to be going well, but there's a possibility something has to be changed or tweaked."

As opening day gets closer, Hawkins said travellers will find out through public service announcements, radio announcements and on Facebook which airport terminal they should report to.

Hawkins said the old terminal, now scheduled for renovations, will continue to house flight services and some government offices. After renovations to the 30-year-old terminal are complete, Hawkins expects it will be re-purposed for aviation functions, or other office use.

With files from Kieran Oudshoorn

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