National Defence to contribute funding for upgrades at Inuvik Airport 

News release

September 4, 2019 – Inuvik, Northwest Territories – Department of National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces

As outlined in Canada’s defence policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged, the Government of Canada is modernizing infrastructure at our bases and wings, as well as exercising Canadian sovereignty in the Arctic.

Today, the Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence, announced the Government of Canada will provide the Government of the Northwest Territories with up to $150 million over five years for the extension and modernization of the Inuvik Airport runway. The project will extend the existing runway by 3,000 feet and modernize its lighting, navigational and military aircraft landing systems. This project has been made possible through collaborative efforts between the Department of National Defence, the Government of the Northwest Territories, and the Inuvik airport.

This investment will allow the Royal Canadian Air Force’s (RCAF) Forward Operating Location to support a greater variety of military aircrafts for RCAF and NORAD operations. This project is expected to create economic opportunities for the region throughout construction.


“It is critically important that the women and men of the Canadian Armed Forces have the infrastructure they need to train and perform their duties effectively. This is especially true in the Arctic, where we face unique safety and security concerns as a result of climate change. This investment will ensure that our Canadian Armed Forces are well-prepared and equipped to respond to whatever challenges they might face in the future.”

The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence

“The Canadian Armed Forces has become an integral part of the Inuvik community, and continues to contribute to the local economy. These runway upgrades are an investment in the Inuvik community and will benefit local travelers that rely on this airport.”

Michael McLeod, Member of Parliament for Northwest Territories

Quick facts

  • Owned by the Government of the Northwest Territories, Inuvik’s Mike Zubko Airport hosts civilian aircraft and acts as a Forward Operating Location for the Royal Canadian Air Force. 

  • As part of its role as a Forward Operating Location, the airport’s 6,000-foot runway is primarily used for CF-18 operations to support Canadian sovereignty in the North and NORAD obligations.  

  • This project will be funded through the Department of National Defence’s (DND) Capital Assistance Program, which funds shared-use capital projects for DND infrastructure that is shared by the federal government and other levels of government. 

  • This project is in the early planning stages and is expected to be tendered in 2020.


Todd Lane
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of National Defence
Phone: 613-996-3100

Media Relations
Department of National Defence
Phone: 613-996-2353

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