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Federal Government Infrastructure Funding

October 13, 2015

Late last week we were informed, by Ryan Leef's office, of the Federal Government's intention to allocate up to $30 million for Yukon Airport infrastructure improvements. We understand that a portion of these funds have been earmarked for paving of the runway in Dawson City with the balance to be used for other infrastructure improvements which could possibly include the paving of the runway in Old Crow, construction of a new air terminal in Dawson City, or possibly even the relocation of the airport in Dawson City.

Northern air carriers have long been advocating for improvements to aviation infrastructure in the North, and we are very pleased to see the Yukon leading the way with this important infrastructure initiative. With more than 40% of Canada's land mass but less than 2% of our population and limited access to land and water transportation grids, air transportation is obviously very important not just to northerners, but also to those wishing to do business in the north, and to Canada's efforts to move forward with its Northern Strategy.

During the past 37 years, and more particularly during the past 14 years, I believe that Air North, Yukon's Airline has demonstrated how a locally-provided, safe and affordable air transportation network can improve the quality of life for northerners while growing the northern economy through the provision of employment, both skilled and unskilled, and through the facilitation of commerce in the tourism, resource, and other sectors.

While our gateway routes have always enjoyed the benefits of relatively modern support infrastructure, our regional routes are challenged by inadequate and outdated infrastructure. Paved runways, starting with Dawson City, will greatly enhance our regional route network by allowing us to operate more modern turboprop and jet aircraft, by facilitating increased frequency, by helping us to maintain affordable pricing, and by allowing for better integration with our gateway route network.

All of us at Air North, Yukon's Airline wish to thank Ryan Leef for his efforts to obtain funding for this important infrastructure initiative.

Joe Sparling
Air North, Yukon's Airline

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