Nain air­port will be re­placed

The Labradorian - - Front Page - BY EVAN CAREEN

The air­port in Nain has been on the fed­eral govern­ments radar for at least a few years.

The lack of light­ing on the run­way means a shorter win­dow for planes to land in the small north­ern com­mu­nity. Re­cently its prox­im­ity to the wa­ter raised con­cerns as well.

In an in­ter­view with The Labradorian last year, Labrador MP Yvonne Jones said there was a study be­ing done on the in­fra­struc­ture at the air­port to see what the best path for­ward would be.

That study is com­plete and Jones said it showed the cur­rent in­fra­struc­ture will not be fea­si­ble to use in the fu­ture.

“There would have to be an al­ter­nate air­port,” she said. “The next phase will be to fund a more com­pre­hen­sive study that looks at site lo­ca­tion and the en­gi­neer­ing side of what a new fa­cil­ity, a new air­port, will look like, where it should be lo­cated and so on and so forth.”

Jones said the fed­eral gov­ern­ment is work­ing with the Nu­natsi­avut Gov­ern­ment to se­cure the fund­ing needed to do the next phase of the study. This phase, which would in­clude such things as wind stud­ies and geotech­ni­cal work, could take up to two years to com­plete and some of the work can’t be started un­til af­ter win­ter.

In the mean­time, Jones said the cur­rent air­port will need some up­grades. She said right now the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment is as­sess­ing what those up­grades will be. Un­til the fed­eral gov­ern­ment gets that re­port, Jones doesn’t know what those up­grades will be or how much it will cost.

She stressed the cur­rent air­port is still safe but this is to get ahead of some­thing hap­pen­ing that could deem the air­port not use­able.

“We’re go­ing to be look­ing at that over the win­ter with both Nu­natsi­avut and the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment and it’s our ob­jec­tive at the end of the day that what­ever work needs to be done on that air­port, we will make ev­ery ef­fort to get it done, so that we can con­tinue to en­joy us­ing that ser­vice un­til we’re able to look at a new air­port and where that will be lo­cated,” the MP said.

The costs of do­ing work in the north are sub­stan­tial, Jones said. Any work in north­ern Canada is two to three times the cost of do­ing it in the south and can take twice as long.

“When you look at those fac­tors we have to make sure we’re plan­ning for the long term, not just the short term and in the case of the Nain air­port we’ll be plan­ning for both,” she said.


Labrador MP Yvonne Jones said the Nain air­port will need up­grades in the short term and re­place­ment in the long term.

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