INUVIK, N.W.T. — The Inuvik Mike Zubko Airport in the Northwest Territories will be receiving $22 million in funding to protect against the impacts of climate change.
The project, which will be funded by the federal and provincial governments, consists of widening the runway and taxiway embankments, which will protect the permafrost below the airport grounds. Surface repairs and drainage improvements will also help direct water away from vulnerable areas, indicates a June 28 Infrastructure Canada release. The project is expected to reduce the rate and extent of ground settlements throughout the airfield.
The Government of Canada is investing $16.5 million in this project through the Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund with the Government of Northwest Territories contributing the remaining $5.5 million.
The project will increase the reliability of air transportation for approximately 7,000 people in the Beaufort Delta Region, including improving access to life-saving healthcare through medevac services, adds the release. The airport improvements are also expected to grow the regional economy by enabling the reliable transportation of goods and services, including mail and freight.
“Extreme weather is becoming more severe, more frequent, more damaging and more expensive because of climate change,” said Ralph Goodale, minister of public safety, in a statement. “By investing in the infrastructure that protects our neighbourhoods, businesses, and families, we are building communities that can withstand future natural disasters and thrive for generations to come.”