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Iqaluit Airport

How do you design an airport P3 project that's unlike any other?

  • 220

    Passengers Per Hour

  • 165M

    Entrance To Gate

  • 130KM

    Hour Wnd Speeds

  • Iqaluit, Nunavut

    Iqaluit, Nunavut

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

An airport unlike any other

Through animation, we explore the question "why go up to go down" during our design of the Iqaluit Airport.

We were inspired to create a vibrant gathering place for travelers, locals, and business people
Passengers per hour
From entrance to gate
Typical wind speeds

Designed to grow with the community, the Iqaluit International Airport can efficiently accommodate up to 220 passengers per hour.
We reduced the average walking distance so passengers can get from the terminal entrance to their gate faster with less congestion.
The terminal’s aerodynamic shape prevents snow buildup even when the wind’s gusting at up to 130 kilometres per hour (81 miles per hour).

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