Ottawa eyes satellite-based landing systems at small airports

“We are improving transportation safety and reliability”

Ottawa is earmarking $7.4 million for a Nav Canada project to look at installing a new global navigation satellite system in selected northern airports, Transport Minister Marc Garneau said on Tuesday, Aug. 27. (File photo)

By Nunatsiaq News

Landing at northern airports during poor weather could become safer in the future, if plans go ahead for the installation of new satellite-based equipment, called the Global Navigation Satellite System, at small aerodromes across the North.

Transport Minister Marc Garneau said on Tuesday, Aug. 27, that $7.4 million from the National Trade Corridors Fund would go to Nav Canada, the private corporation that owns and operates Canada’s civil air navigation service, to assess 61 aerodromes across the North to see where the technology can be introduced.

“Transportation is a lifeline for Northern communities and for economic development in Canada’s Arctic. By finding ways to make our infrastructure more resilient, we are improving transportation safety and reliability,” Garneau said in the press release.

The aim is to improve access to northern airports in poor weather conditions by introducing an instrument approach procedure that relies on a new global navigation satellite system.

This will introduce vertically guided approach procedures that will increase the reliability and efficiency of aircraft landing, the release said.

Once sites are identified, Nav Canada will develop a project plan to build, validate and publish the new procedures at eligible sites, the release said.

The decision to put more money into airport infrastructure follows a 2017 report, in which the Auditor General of Canada slammed Transport Canada for failing to keep northern airports safe and efficient.

Nunavut alone would need $463 million, in 2014 dollars, the report said, to meet the infrastructure needs of its airports, including $76 million to relocate two airports, in Kimmirut and Pangnirtung.

In 2018, Ottawa said it would spend roughly $35 million from its National Trade Corridors Fund on two projects to improve air cargo transportation and airport safety in Nunavut.

The money went to a new cargo warehouse built for First Air in Iqaluit and to repair or replace aging airport terminals in five Nunavut communities: Kugluktuk, Naujaat, Kimmirut, Whale Cove and Chesterfield Inlet.

This month, four Nunavut transportation projects, including the Grays Bay Road and Port Project also learned they would receive $71.7 million from the National Trade Corridors Fund.

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(4) Comments:

  1. Posted by Consistency on

    now this is a good thing to spend money on… and infact i bet if the airlines can land in almost any weather condition then that will also decrease the amount of unnecessary fly overs and could mean costs go down.

  2. Posted by What if on

    So what happens if Trudeau and Libs lose the election this year? Will all this promised $$$ (including the fibre line plans) go away?? I doubt the Conservatives will be spending that much

    • Posted by Election Politics on

      It’s a bit of a game in this way. if the conservatives don’t spend the money then they own the disappointment and look regressive. If the liberals do win, who knows when the money will finally be spent.

  3. Posted by Paul Murphy on

    Yeah right. With the satellite service we get in Nunavut??

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