City to tout Iqaluit as cold-weather test centre

Helicopter engineers praise Iqaluit’s cold climate



After hearing the high-praises of Denis Hamel, a flight-test engineer and team leader of a group recently in Iqaluit to perform cold-weather testing on helicopters, Iqaluit city council wants to capitalize on the idea by offering the same services to other companies.

Deputy Mayor Kirt Ejesiak jumped at the suggestion, wondering aloud if that type of venture might not be an ideal niche for the city.

“I see bigger and better things,” Ejesiak said.

Councillor Lynda Gunn echoed Ejesiak’s enthusiasm by suggesting the city promote the concept on its Web site. She also asked Hamel for a reference letter.

Hamel was more than happy to oblige.

“You are sitting on a jewel. You have something really, really special here and it should be told to other companies. It should be marketed,” Hamel said.

“Iqaluit has the perfect winter weather, with temperatures below -33 ° C systematically. It’s the only place which provides those temperatures on a consistent basis — a winter paradise,” he added.

Hamel also praised the airport, runway, restaurant and hotels in the area, and noted that Iqaluit is a lot closer than other possible locations for aerospace testing, such as Fairbanks, Alaska, Yellowknife or Inuvik. He said the group’s business in Iqaluit was “nothing short of perfect.”

Mayor John Matthews thanked Hamel for the tip on how to promote the city.

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