Funding Announced For Churchill Airport

A couple weeks ago, it was announced that Thompson Airport would be getting over $8 million in funding for much needed upgrades. This was great news for the airport, but also for those looking to improve air transportation in Northen Manitoba.

With the announcement this week of over $13 million for upgrades at Churchill Airport - specifically taxiways, ramps, runways and the roadway to the terminal building - this again demonstrates the improvements being made to air transportation in our northern communities.

The following article is from the Winnipeg Free Press.

Churchill airport set for $13.4-M upgrade

By: Mark Kennedy
Posted: 24/08/2010

CHURCHILL -- Prime Minister Stephen Harper launched a week-long trip to Canada's North on Monday by announcing a $13.4-million investment to upgrade this city's airport on the shore of Hudson Bay.

"Canada's regional and remote airports play a vital role in bringing us together as a nation and linking our communities to the world," said Harper.

The Churchill airport, located about 1,000 kilometres northeast of Winnipeg, operates year-round and is considered an important hub for the North, including a gateway for tourism.

Harper said the investment shows the federal government is committed to ensuring northerners have access to the "goods, services and opportunities they need."

The airport upgrades will be complete by the fall of 2011. The money will be used to improve the Churchill airport's taxiways, ramps, runways and roadway to the terminal building.

Harper said the work will "ensure the safe flow of people, goods and services" to and from northern communities, and will also create jobs and economic growth.

The funding announcement came as Harper, marking his fifth summer tour of the Arctic, released a statement Monday outlining the importance of his government's northern strategy.

"Canadians are proud of our country's northern heritage," he said. "The Canadian Arctic is a vital part of our national identity, our sovereignty and our economic security."

Harper said his government's priority is to help northern communities become more "self-sufficient, healthy and safe."

"It is crucial that we continue to unlock the enormous resource potential of the North, while protecting our northern environmental heritage to preserve its rich natural beauty and ecological integrity for future generations."

The prime minister said the government will continue to devote funds to Arctic research and infrastructure projects.

Harper is expected to put a heavy emphasis this week on protecting national sovereignty, but experts say he will come under increasing pressure to match the political rhetoric with proof that promises made in recent years -- such as an icebreaker and deep-sea naval port -- actually come to fruition.

Harper says his northern strategy has four pillars: asserting sovereignty through a stronger military and border control; fostering economic and social development; protecting the environment; and giving northerners more control over their own affairs.

"As international interest in Canada's Arctic grows, maintaining our sovereignty in this Canadian region becomes more critical," he said Monday.

Also this week, Harper will visit Cambridge Bay, Resolute Bay, Inuvik, Tuktoyaktuk and Whitehorse.

Tagged: stephen harper, northern manitoba, churchill airport, winnipeg free press, aviation