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Promoting Canada’s eastern Arctic as airplane test site

CBC NewsEye on the Arctic

A delegation from Iqaluit, Canada, is in Paris this week, pitching the city’s cold to the aviation industry.

They’re at the 50th annual Paris Airshow -- the world’s biggest meeting of the industry -- to promote Iqaluit as an ideal location for cold-weather testing of aircraft.

“We are your preferred destination,” said city councillor Mark Morrissey. “Our goal is to put Iqaluit in the front of their minds when they look for cold weather testing and keep it there.”

Morrissey and the four other city representatives are networking with aircraft executives and handing out Iqaluit airport badges and other promotional material.

The Paris show attracts more than 350,000 visitors and representatives from 45 countries.

Eric Leuthold is also part of the Iqaluit delegation. He is the owner of Frobisher Bay Touchdown Services, which offers logistic support to companies that test their aircraft in the capital.

“This actually the first time that any private sector company has gone to the Paris airshow or to any airshow for that matter to promote the services we have available in Iqaluit here,” said Leuthold.

“There’s a 30 to 1 return on investment from these kinds of missions so it’s pretty significant and it’s great for our community,” he said. “It’s great for all of the businesses in our community. I think that’s the key component here is we can attract the biggest aerospace manufacturers in the world to support our tiny little village.”

Luethold says even if just one Iqaluit mission results from the show, it would generate about $250,000 to $500,000 for the local economy.

The city of Iqaluit is contributing $40,000 to the European trip.

This story is posted on Alaska Dispatch as part of Eye on the Arctic, a collaborative partnership between public and private circumpolar media organizations.