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Iqaluit airport. © Government of Nunavut

Iqaluit’s new airport is scheduled to open in August 2017. The $300-million improvements include more space, 16 check-in counters, two lanes of security screening, five departure gates, two circular baggage conveyors in a separate room, and bathrooms in the security area. “The Rotunda” is slated for a restaurant and gift shop and could also be rented for public functions.

Parking will be in front of the new terminal for more than 100 vehicles, snowmobiles and all-terrain vehicles. Areas designated for taxi parking, passenger pick up and drop off will reduce congestion.

Half of the $300-million construction budget will be spent on improvements to the airfield, which will include runway repaving and new lighting and a westerly extension for taxiing will include commercial space on the north side. Two taxi-ways will be added for a total of five, with one big enough to accommodate the largest commercial planes in the world.

A private consortium will run the new airport for 34 years, which includes Bouygues Building Canada and its subsidiary Sintra Inc. Sub-contractors include local firms Tower Arctic Ltd. and Kudlik Construction Ltd. as well as engineering firms Stantec and Quebec-based Genivar. The Winnipeg Airports Authority will act as “service provider” through a new entity called Nunavut Airport Services Ltd., which will manage the airport.