A consortium, led by InfraRed Capital Partners, will be responsible for giving the Iqaluit International Airport an overhaul, after securing a design, build, finance, operate and maintain (DBFOM) contract from the government of Nunavut, Canada’s northernmost and newest territory.
The other consortium members are general contractor Bouygues Building Canada; Bouygues’ subsidiary Colas Canada; and Winnipeg Airports authority.
The project – which is partially funded by PPP Canada, a federal crown corporation – includes a new airport building, expanded aprons, new lighting systems, an upgraded runway, and a combined services building, according to Nunavut’s Department of Economic Development and Transportation.
Construction is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2014, while completion is expected at the end of 2017. The project is estimated to cost C$250 million (€179.4 million; $242.7 million) to C$300 million.
According to the government of Nunavut, owner of the airport, the project is critical to the economy of Iqaluit and the territory of Nunavut for several reasons. One of these is that Nunavut has 25 communities spread over 10 million square kilometres with no roads connecting these communities.
Another reason the airport is a significant asset is its location at the intersection of both High Atlantic and Polar air routes, according to Nunavut’s government. “Iqaluit Airport serves a vital role supporting air transportation in Nunavut, trans-Atlantic air navigation, polar routes, wide-body medical diversions, North American air defence, search and rescue, and resupply and support to North Warning System (NWS), Canadian Forces Station Alert and Thule Air Force Base in Greenland.”
The airport was originally built in the 1940s as Frobisher Bay Air Force base in support of the war effort. It was converted into a civilian airport in 1963.
Headquartered in London, but with offices in New York, Paris, Hong Kong and Sydney, InfraRed Capital Partners is a real estate and infrastructure private equity fund manager. To date, it has launched 15 funds including two listed funds – HICL Infrastructure Company Limited and The Renewables Infrastructure Group.