Nunavut needs Iqaluit-Rankin-Cambridge flight
In the early 1970’s, Commissioner Stuart Hodgson recognized that the Northwest Territories was in need of a new airline route linking Yellowknife, Rankin Inlet and Iqaluit.
He turned that idea into a reality by chartering, on behalf of the GNWT, first a Lear Jet, then later a turboprop Gulfstream nicknamed G1, and ultimately a Lockheed Electra. From this initiative sprang the routes of the former NWT Airways airline.
Last week, I was searching for an airfare from Iqaluit to Cambridge Bay. My trip will last eight days. The air fare is in excess of $2400 and involves staying in Yellowknife for two nights going west, and one night coming back east. It is time for a bold step.
It is time for the Government of Nunavut to recognize that dozens of people are flying this route, losing enormous amounts of valuable time and spending to many Nunavut dollars in the NWT.
I think it is time our government department responsible for transportation got creative and worked out the logistics of chartering a connecting flight that will take passengers on a direct route from Iqaluit to Rankin to Cambridge. We need the linkage and we need the dollars we are currently spending to support the economy of the NWT.