Arconas recently had the opportunity to make a unique trip to the Canadian North. During one of the coldest months of the year, we visited the Iqaluit International Airport (YFB) in Nunavut to oversee the installation of our Bernù Aero seating for the new terminal currently under construction.
Iqaluit is 2300 KM north of Toronto, and anyone heading to this destination has to connect through YOW (Ottawa) to catch one of two daily flights to the remote location. Iqaluit is the only capital city in Canada that is not connected to other settlements by a highway, making airports the only all-season transportation link to this region, and a necessity for those living in the area.
We arrived on a busy Boeing 737 to the 6600-population town and were met with a -29 degree Celsius temperatures.
The cities polar climate meant the temperature regularly dipped below -40 degrees while we were there for a week. We, along with most of the contractors, were housed in one of the camps in the town where we were provided with accommodation, essential meals, and a rec room for entertainment.
Each day we braved a frigid walk to the airport to oversee the seating installation. The interior of the new airport is canary yellow, which matched the exterior color of the old airport. The exterior of the new airport is red, providing an infusion of color against the white snowy landscape. The yellow walls and red exterior are complemented by a colour block design of black and red Bernù Aero seats to radiate a warm and welcoming atmosphere with a very distinct look. The seats are upholstered with Esprit Black and American Beauty. They feature our all aluminum cantilever arms and all aluminum drink holder arms, as well as accessible seating indicated with embroidered backs.
The last major investment at the airport was over 20 years ago, and, since then, traffic has steadily increased with Nunavut’s growing population. As a result, the Nunavut government moved forward in 2014 with a 100,000 sq. ft. expansion for a new terminal and facility upgrades. The new Iqaluit International Airport replaces the original 1940 Frobisher Bay Air Force airport, and will continue to be an important hub for military and civilian aviation. The project started 4 years ago, with only 3 members, and now there are approximately 160 employees working on the terminal. By the time we left, the majority of the airport was still under heavy construction with completion expected for the end of 2017.
The new facility itself is designed by Stantec with the vision to incorporate the region’s rich heritage, while also creating a building that can withstand its harsh climate. The facility has an aerodynamic roof meant to resist wind power, while also harnessing it to disperse snow.
The overall project also includes a rehabilitation of the existing runway, new and existing taxiways and aprons, an airfield lighting system, a new Air Terminal Building, and a new Combined Services Building. The expansion is expected to serve the territory for the next 50 years.