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Puvirnituq Gets New Expanded Airport Terminal

Scheduled to open in the fall of 2012, the newly expanded airport terminal in Puvirnituq is part of a government initiative to modernize airports across Northern Quebec to stimulate economic development in the resource-rich province.

Designed by architect Alain Fournier of the firm Fournier, Gersovitz, Moss & Associates, the new
$6.5 M terminal building’s design was inspired by suggestions from the community that it resemble a qamutik, a traditional wooden sled that is part of the region’s cultural heritage.

Inside, the qamutik theme is carried on with an undulating wooden ceiling recalling flying qamutiks. Replete with the work of local carvers and an
over-sized print by the late Inuit artist Davidaluk Amittu, the new terminal will include check-in counters , baggage rooms, a dedicated space for a retail operation and a security section for future needs.

At 10,000 square feet, the newly expanded terminal will be four times larger than the previous structure. Its exterior will be wrapped in metal cladding with airtight walls and double vestibules at each entrance to conserve energy during the cold winter months, bringing added comfort to travellers and personnel alike.

Puvirnituq’s geographic location has made it a gateway for industrial activity for all of Nunavik. Today, it is the hub of the Hudson coast. The village’s airport is also the gateway to more remote communities; Puvirnituq and Kuujjuaq, Nunavik’s administrative centres, are connected directly by plane two times a week.


More than 20 years after the construction of the first airports in the region, most of Nunavik’s airports are in need of some degree of repair. The new terminal, extended apron and new runway lighting systems in Puvirnituq will likely be followed by similar improvements to Salluit and Kangiqsujuaq airports, both of which are expected to need larger airports due to additional traffic resulting from increased mining operations and tourism.