Quebec gov't announces airport upgrades in northern region of province

A total of $65 million in funding was announced in last month's provincial budget to improve regional airport infrastructure.

Chibougamau-Chapais Aeroport to get new terminal, among other projects

The Quebec government has announced a number of airport improvements. Here, transport minister Véronyque Tremblay is in the centre in a white jacket, and Ungava MP Jean Boucher is to her right in jeans and dark jacket. (Submitted by Jean Boucher)

The Quebec government is investing in a new airport terminal for the Chibougamau-Chapais Aeroport, an important hub for the James Bay Cree communities of Mistissini, Oujé-Bougoumou and Waswanipi.

According to Quebec transport minister Véronyque Tremblay, the new terminal will be twice the size of the existing one, "fully meeting the needs of passengers, but especially the image of the region," she stated in a release.

It will be built next to the current terminal to allow activities to be maintained during construction, something considered a priority, as the aeroport is "an important link" between northern and southern Quebec.

An artist's rendering of Chibougamau-Chapais Aeroport's new terminal. (Submitted by Jean Boucher)

Jean Boucher, MP for Ungava and parliamentary assistant to the minister of forests, wildlife and parks, says the project will have other benefits.

"This new terminal will become an additional asset of tourism promotion," said Boucher. "It will promote access to the region for both families and visitors, as well as benefiting businesses."

The current terminal was built in 1982 and is the main airport within a 125 kilometre radius.

Tremblay says the project will go to tender this fall, with construction set to begin in early 2019. Design will integrate the work of a local artist, who hasn't yet been identified.

It is part of $65 million in funding announced in last month's provincial budget to improve regional airport infrastructure. Other projects planned for the north are a new garage and improved runways and security for the Kuujjuarapik/Whapmagoostui airport.

A new airport and garage is also planned for the Inuit community of Salluit in northern Quebec.