Minister Nils Clarke issues statement on Airport runway improvements

Minister Nils Clarke has issued the following statement:

“As the largest airport in the Yukon, the Erik Nielsen Whitehorse International Airport is essential to the territory.

“Not only does it allow Yukoners to travel to and from home, but it serves as a hub for many important services.

“Our airport is used for medevacs to move patients to the care they need.

“It acts as a conduit for the commercial industry to bring staff to their work sites.

“And it provides a warm welcome for travellers coming from all over the world.

“I think it goes without saying that it is critical that we have modern infrastructure that will support a safe and reliable aviation sector.

“This is why we are continuing to invest in several infrastructure projects that support our aviation industry.

“For the past two summers, we have upgraded taxiways, replaced apron panels and upgraded the parallel runway.

“Over the next two years, we will be reconstructing the main runway, installing improved lighting, building additional airport facilities and making other vital upgrades to improve reliability and safety.

“With the assistance of the federal National Trade Corridor Fund, we will be investing over $258 million on these projects.

“These are crucial investments and will help make sure that Yukoners have safe, reliable and efficient air travel for years to come.

“Next Monday, April 15, we will be closing the main runway so we can continue its reconstruction and make drainage improvements.

“While construction occurs, air traffic will be rerouted to the parallel runway until the main runway reopens in the fall. 

“We recognize the importance of maintaining connectivity for our visitors, especially during peak tourist seasons, which is why we are proactively working with our air carriers to minimize operational impacts.

“For example, this summer, Air North will allow visitors flying with Condor to connect to the Yukon via Vancouver, Edmonton or Calgary.

“Early indicators show that the number of bookings already surpasses Condor’s direct flight numbers from 2023.

“Beyond the changes occurring airside, we are also adding new services to the inside of the terminal.

“Our goal is to provide quality food services for Yukoners and the thousands of passengers who pass through the airport every year. 

“As you may have heard, our government finalized an agreement with Air North to offer food services.

“Soon travellers will be able to not only enjoy Air North’s delicious warm cookies and meals 30,000 feet in the air but also on the ground in the Whitehorse terminal. 

“The Black Wolf Bistro is set to open in May, and I very much look forward to trying their culinary creations.

“I am very proud that we are forging ahead in meeting our commitment to investing in the Yukon’s aviation infrastructure and services.

“Thank you to all those who support this industry. This includes commercial aircraft operators, general aviation and everyone involved in the aviation community.

“Your commitment to keeping our territory connected and safe does not go unnoticed and I want to extend a heartfelt thank you for all that you do and continue to do.”

Media contact 

Laura Seeley
Cabinet Communications

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