A Look Into - Iqaluit Airport
Iqaluit Airport had its’ Grand Opening on September 13, 2017, with its first domestic flight only a few weeks ago. Located in Iqaluit, the capital of the Canadian Territories of Nunavut (think northern Canada, but even further north) and located less than 200 miles from the Arctic Circle, the brand-new international airport replaces the site of an older, domestic airport, as well as towering over it by about 8 times larger than the latter (about 10,000m2 to be exact, and that’s only the terminal). Serving Canada’s Arctic –including the Baffin island- This design leans toward handling thousands of visitors per day, improving the local economy and tourism. The innovation also handles the creation of ‘one of the largest systems of thermosyphons, the function being to limit the impact of heat on permafrost.
Olivier Walon -project director of Bouygues Batiment International- tackled the project with the team in great determination, having worked with Bouygues in different countries, climates, and continents for more than a decade. In charge of Bouygues Building Canada, the joint venture with Sintra moved forward with the designs and construction. In April 2017, Thomas Bishop of Polar Express interviewed Walon, going in-depth about the grandiose transformation of the project among other things. You can check the interview here.
The construction came across its tribulations, such as the site being inaccessible several months each year due to extreme weather conditions (below -40 degrees Celsius), delaying the construction process. There were also challenges outside of construction, according to Walon’s interview, such as the P3 (Public Private Partnership) process involving many different parties, from the government of Nunavut to future tenants, including airlines, airport security, and custom agencies.
In the group’s history, this may have been Bouygues Building Canada’s "most northerly project". We’re happy that these obstacles were able to be hurdled, seeing the completion of this new airport. It’s been a strong experience, and definitely something that won’t be forgotten.