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MPP Seeks Improvements to Remote Airport Runways

By Randy Thoms Sep 2, 2022 | 9:40 AM

Ministry of Transportation photo

A call for improvements to airport runways in Ontario’s Far North.

Twenty-seven remote communities have short gravel runways measuring 3,500 feet.

Some were constructed 40 and 50 years ago.

Kiiwetinoong MPP Sol Mamakwa says that may have been okay in the 60s but not today.

“Imagine landing a six-ton aircraft at 160 kilometres per hour on a gravel runway that is less than a kilometre. Stop and think about that. We would never say it is safe to drive a car or a bus, or a truck on a gravel road at 160 kilometres per hour, yet every day, planes are landing under these conditions,” says Mamakwa.

Government House Leader Paul Calandra acknowledged the need to improve the infrastructure in the north as the Ring of Fire develops.

“Infrastructure needs to be improved as we make these important investments which will bring hundreds of billions of dollars to the province of Ontario, thousands of jobs, enormous opportunities for all of the people in the north. The member is right, and that’s why we’re making investments not only in roads and bridges but, of course, airports will need to be part of this,” says Calandra.

Mamakwa warned the Minister the Ring of Fire won’t happen unless the government talks to all First Nations.


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