Inside Logistics

First Air warehouse in Iqaluit to expand

Feds to fund 75 per cent capacity growth

May 17, 2018

First Air’s Boeing 737-400.

IQALUIT – The Government of Canada is investing more than $35 million for two projects to improve the flow of supplies to northern communities, support economic opportunities, and enhance travel in remote communities by upgrading airport infrastructure.

The first project consists of building an expanded cargo warehouse operated by First Air at the Iqaluit airport. Additional capacity will strengthen this vital north/south transportation corridor to maintain an effective and stable supply chain to Canada’s North.

The expanded warehouse will increase capacity by approximately 75 per cent for climate-controlled dry goods and refrigerated products to reduce spoiled and damaged goods due to weather delays. The new warehouse will incorporate state-of-the-art technology such as radio frequency identification and aircraft freight container.

High efficiency building systems will reduce the carbon footprint of the operation. This project is expected to have significant economic and employment benefits for northerners, creating an estimated 120 jobs during construction.

The second project involves replacing outdated and undersized airport terminal buildings in the five communities of Kugluktuk, Naujaat, Kimmirut, Whale Cove and Chesterfield Inlet. The project involves engineering design, construction of new energy efficient buildings to reduce the carbon footprint and demolition of the old buildings. This project is expected to have significant economic and employment benefits by creating an estimated 220 jobs during construction.

The First Air project will improve the essential cargo transportation in Nunavut while the replacement of airport terminals project will improve the efficiency and safety of essential transportation in five remote communities in Nunavut and support economic and social development of northern Canadians.

“Transportation and distribution of goods are a vital part of our local, regional and national economies,” said Yvonne Jones, parliamentary secretary to the minister of crown-indigenous relations and northern affairs and member of parliament for Labrador.

“The investment announced here today makes our transportation system stronger by addressing urgent capacity constraints at First Air operations and at five airports in Nunavut and fosters long-term prosperity for our community.”