The Inuvik Airport is located 7 miles east of Inuvik, Northwest Territories, Canada and hosts the largest paved runway in the Western Arctic.
The Inuvik Airport acts as a civilian facility as well as a forward operating location for both the Canadian military and NORAD.
Due to its strategic location and the lack of comparable airfields in the region, the Inuvik Airport is considered critical infrastructure by the Canadian Government.
In 2019, Canadian Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan announced that the Canadian federal government will provide $150 million over the next five years to make infrastructure upgrades to the Inuvik Airport.
The upgrades will allow a greater variety of military aircraft to use the location for Royal Canadian Air Force and NORAD operations.
The Inuvik Airport supports Canadian sovereignty in the Arctic and is required by Canada in order to meet its obligations to allies outlined within international treaties.
The terminal building at the Inuvik Airport was built in 1958, however, the design and construction of a new terminal building is now underway.
The new terminal building will improve airport operations as well as increase both its civilian and military capacity.
The replacement of the terminal building is budgeted at $30 million Canadian dollars.
The Government of the Northwest Territories expects construction to be completed by 2023.
In addition to a new terminal building, the Department of Defence (DND), the Canadian Federal Government and the Government of the Northwest Territories have collaborated to make significant upgrades to the Inuvik Airport’s airfield and runways.
The upgrade project will modernize the Inuvik Airport’s navigational and landing systems as well as extend the runway by 50%.
The runway at the Inuvik Airport is currently 6,000 feet. The project will extend the runway by another 3,000 feet.
At a total of 9,000 feet, the runway at the Inuvik Airport will be able to accommodate nearly all civilian and military aircraft currently in use.
Runway and taxiway embankments will also be widened and resurfaced.
A portion of the federal funding for these projects comes from the Department of National Defence’s (DND) Capital Assistance Program and from the Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund (DMAF).
DMAF is a $2-billion program to build infrastructure that will help communities withstand natural disasters such as floods, wildfires, permafrost degradation, earthquakes and droughts.
The Inuvik Airport acts as a critical transport hub for the distribution of services to these communities throughout the Western Arctic and would be the muster point for any operations in case of an emergency.
The Inuvik Airport is owned by the Government of the Northwest Territories and is classified as an airport of entry by Nav Canada.
A $150 million dollar upgrade is now underway that will extend and modernize the runway in order to accommodate expanded operations by RCAF and NORAD.
See the area surrounding the Inuvik Airport on Google Maps