GN seeks private firms to build, finance, operate big new Iqaluit airport
“This is a significant project”
(Updated 4:20 p.m., July 3)
The Government of Nunavut took the next step towards a new, privately-built airport in Iqaluit June 29, when they issued a call seeking groups interested in building and running it.
The document, called a “request for qualifications,” or “RFQ,” asks groups, companies and consortiums to indicate their interest in the project and state their qualifications, a GN news release said.
After that, the GN will narrow the list to no more than three firms or groups of firms.
The top three firms will then be asked to submit proposals to design, build, finance, maintain and operate the new Iqaluit airport.
It’s no secret that the cash-strapped Government of Nunavut plans to use some type of public-private partnership to pay for a new Iqaluit airport.
A 2009 GN estimate pegged the cost of improving the Iqaluit airport at around $40 million, but the cost of the project that the GN now contemplates is likely much higher than that.
But the final capital cost can not be determined until after the GN reaches a project agreement with the winning firm or group, the news release said.
A draft Iqaluit airport master plan, done in 2009, provides for a new airport terminal and parking lot on or near the area occupied by the old federal building, which houses an Arctic College residence and trades shops.
The RFQ released June 29 said the Iqaluit airport improvement project would include:
• a new airport building;
• expanded aprons for planes to park;
• new lighting systems;
• an upgraded runway; and,
• a new combined services building that will house firefighting vehicles and heavy equipment to maintain the runways and aprons.
The GN hopes construction will start in 2014, with completion in 2017.
“This is a significant project that will serve the air transportation needs of Nunavummiut in Iqaluit, and the thousands who travel through Iqaluit for many years to come,” Peter Taptuna, the minister of transport, said in the news release.
Iqaluit is not the only Nunavut community that needs airport improvement. A GN presentation at the Kivalliq Trade show in November 2011 revealed that the territory needs tens of millions of dollars worth of new or replacement airport infrastructure.