Expanding horizon

By Polar Research and Policy Initiative

Article published in The Arctic Journal, on 19 April 2017: ‘Expanding Horizon’

By Thomas Bishop

In Iqaluit, the capital of the Canadian territory of Nunavut, less than 200 miles from the Arctic Circle, the city’s airport is undergoing an expansion that, when complete in September, will leave behind a facility that is eight times larger than the existing one.

The ambitious plan suggests growing confidence in the Arctic economy, tourism and travel, but the operation, which got under way in 2014, has not been without its problems. For example, Bouygues Bâtiment International, the France-based firm that is responsible for the project, cannot access the site for up to two months of the year due to the cold and snow. It must also grapple with factors such as sourcing labour in a sparsely populated place and the logistics of construction that are dictated by the two-month window available for delivering a whole year’s worth of building materials by boat.

In the interview below, provided to us by the Polar Research and Policy Initiative, a UK-based think-tank, Olivier Walon, the Bouygues project director, talks about the expansion.

For The Arctic Journal article, see here.


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