The Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) and Thompson Regional Airport Authority (TRAA), announced financial close on a $52 million investment towards the redevelopment of Thompson Regional Airport.

The airport is a hub providing essential passenger and cargo services to communities in northern Manitoba and western Nunavut.

“The Thompson Regional Airport serves as a lifeline to remote and Indigenous communities in northern Manitoba and western Nunavut. The CIB’s loan will enable the redevelopment of the airport, ensuring the needs of the Indigenous communities who rely on, and air carriers that serve, the airport, are met. Representing the CIB’s first investment in redeveloping an airport, this partnership provides a safe and climate resilient solution benefitting the region for decades to come,” said Ehren Cory, CEO, Canada Infrastructure Bank.

Located six kilometres northwest of the City of Thompson, the redevelopment of the Thompson Regional Airport includes:

  • the replacement of the air terminal building, which is sinking into the discontinuous permafrost;
  • non-airside-related infrastructure, including extension of sewer lines from new terminal to expanded lagoon, parking lots and service roads; and
  • airside-related infrastructure, including new apron and taxiways, and expansion of existing apron and related infrastructure.

Following project completion, the airport will continue supporting long-term access to critical goods and services, including retail trade, medical, social, educational and fire suppression. The project also ensures the airport’s operational safety as well as supporting the region’s critical mineral mining opportunities, growing cargo and passenger travel needs.

“This is a historic event that will leave a lasting legacy in northern Manitoba. The support provided by the Canada Infrastructure Bank, the Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund and the Province of Manitoba shows a significant commitment to ensuring Thompson remains a regional hub for the economic and social well being of all northern citizens and will lay the foundations to look after future generations to come,” said Vince Shumka, Chair, Thompson Regional Airport Authority.

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Absent CIB financing and other government support, the existing airport terminal building would eventually be made inoperable due to climate change.

The airport serves as a regional catchment area for 37 northern communities which includes many First Nations – 15 of which are accessible only by air and the ice road – serving a market area population of approximately 65,000 people.

The redevelopment of the Thompson Regional Airport is being financed through the CIB’s Indigenous Community Infrastructure Initiative, which lends to projects delivering a direct benefit to Indigenous communities.

“It is my privilege on behalf of the 11 Nations of Keewatin Tribal Council, and as a founding member of the TRAA, to acknowledge and witness this project come to fruition. This project represents a major achievement not only for the City of Thompson but the entire region. Collaborating with the CIB and the Province of Manitoba has been instrumental in securing funds to re-develop the airport infrastructure which will have an enormous impact on the quality of life for all residents within the region. This infrastructure will serve the region for accessibility to health care, goods and services, justice, education, sports and recreation,” said Walter Wastesicoot, Grand Chief, Keewatin Tribal Council.

Featured image: Artist rendering of passenger terminal at Thompson Regional Airport. (CNW Group/Canada Infrastructure Bank)

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