Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Nunavik February 21, 2014 - 11:28 am

Nunavik officials inaugurate new Quaqtaq airport

Transport Quebec sinks $11 million into sleek new terminal

SARAH ROGERS
The front entrance of Quaqtaq's new airport terminal sports the colourful figures of beluga whales. (PHOTO BY JEAN-PHILIPPE DUBOIS/KRG)
The front entrance of Quaqtaq's new airport terminal sports the colourful figures of beluga whales. (PHOTO BY JEAN-PHILIPPE DUBOIS/KRG)
KRG chair Maggie Emudluk speaks to Quaqtammuit at the opening of the community's new airport terminal Feb. 19. (PHOTO BY JEAN-PHILIPPE DUBOIS/KRG)
KRG chair Maggie Emudluk speaks to Quaqtammuit at the opening of the community's new airport terminal Feb. 19. (PHOTO BY JEAN-PHILIPPE DUBOIS/KRG)

Nunavik officials and residents of Quaqtaq gathered this week to celebrate the opening of the Ungava Bay community’s brand new airport terminal.

Quaqtaq’s entire airport infrastructure underwent a major facelift last year, with more than $11 million invested in a renovated garage, runway resurfacing, an upgraded and expanded terminal, and a new motorized barrier to control access to the runway.

Kativik Regional Government chair Maggie Emudluk spoke at an opening of the new terminal Feb. 19.

“Community airports like this one not only ensure the delivery of essential services to Nunavimmiut, but they also provide valuable employment opportunities,” Emudluk said in a news release.

“Nearly 70 employees of the KRG work day and night to make sure our airports operate safely, in summer and winter.”

Transport Quebec, which owns 13 of Nunavik’s 14 airports (the federal transport department oversees the Kuujjuaq airport) invested $11.2 million in the upgrades.

In 2008 , Quebec set a goal of modernizing northern airports, at a rate of one per year.

Both Puvirnituq and Ivujivik has opened upgraded terminals in recent years.

Work is also underway to expand the apron at the Kangirsuk airport, along with the relocation of the community’s airport access road.

But the new terminal in Quaqtaq also shows a departure from the plain, box-shaped architecture that was applied to Nunavik’s older generation of airports. The outside of the new terminal is wrapped in a mesh wall, adorned with the colourful figures of beluga whales.

Inside the building, a metal figure of a beluga whale hangs from a high ceiling, while the ticket counter area is fitted with sleek panelling.

“It is essential to ensure the best possible access to Nunavik communities , and this investment is a concrete demonstration of our commitment to better serve the citizens who live in this region,” said Alexandre Cloutier, the Quebec minister responsible for the region Nord-du -Québec, in a Feb.19 news release.

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