Pioneering a successful P3 project
A stark and frozen climate, a rich heritage, a hectic travel pattern—these elements are authentic to Iqaluit. From them, we were inspired to create a vibrant gathering place for travelers, locals, and businesspeople; the first successful airport P3 project in Canada; and a holistic design true to this northern community.
The Government of Nunavut liked the idea of building a museum, a legislative assembly, or an airport as a public-private partnership. However, a P3 project has to meet complex criteria.
We evaluated the potential viability of these projects. Of the three, only the airport had the revenue potential to attract private investment. But it couldn’t be an ordinary build. Would the future revenue justify the cost?
We estimated the price tag for designing and building an international airport in the arctic, and also the cost of operating it privately for 30 years. Labour, utilities, maintenance costs, taxes, fees—all were projected for the next three decades.
Price Waterhouse Coopers did some financial number-crunching and used our assessment to build a business case for a P3 airport project. The case was strong enough to receive 25% funding from PPP Canada, a federal corporation created to support innovative public infrastructure projects.
Today, the Iqaluit International Airport stands as the first and only fully operational P3 airport project to achieve financial close and subsequent construction completion—in all of North America.
At a Glance
- Engineers Canada Awards National Award for an Engineering Project or Achievement
- CCPPP National Awards Gold Award for Infrastructure
- P3 Bulletin Awards Best Rail/Transit Project – Gold Award
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