Arviat Airport is the public airport located in the hamlet Arviat in Nunavut, Canada. The airport is operated by the government of Nunavut. It resides at an elevation of 34 ft / 10 m above mean sea level. It has a runway designated 15/33, with a gravel surface at the length of 4,000 ft (1,221 m).
Arviat, previously called Eskimo Point until 1989, is a predominantly Inuit hamlet. It is situated on the western shore of Hudson Bay in the Kivalliq Region of Nunavut. The name Arviat was derived from the Inuktitu word 'arviq', meaning "Bowhead Whale." At some point earlier in history, the name of the area was Tikirajualaaq, meaning ‘a little long point’, and Ittaliurvik, meaning ‘a place where the people make tents’.
What to see & do
Qaminurjuat Caribou Herd Migration – One of the most amazing sights in Arviat happens during the first three weeks in May, during which the migration of cows and calves occur. The herds head north in summer calving grounds. It is considered to be one of the ‘most accessible and predictable mass caribou migrations’ in the world.
Arvia’juaq (Sentry Island ) – Arvia’juaq, meaning ‘an island shaped like a big bowhead whale’, is a small, narrow island located 12 kilometres northeast of the Arviat hamlet, situated on the western shore of the Hudson Bay. The island can only be accessed by boat during he summer. The island was a significant historical summer camping area of the Paalirmiut; this was one of the areas where Inuit families go to camp and harvest its marine resources, from fish to beluga whales and walrus.
Margaret Aniksak Visitor’s Centre - The Visitor’s Centre features interpretive exhibits of the local culture in Arviat. Some of the objects on display include old photographs, cultural art, traditional clothing, and Inuit tools. Copies of some of the old photographs can be purchased.
Mikilaaq Centre – The Mikilaaq Centre, located at the Roman Catholic Church, contains collections of current and archival photos. Other archival photos can be found in the Government of Nunavut Pana building and at the Donald Suluk Library.
Bird Watching – A common activity done by tourists in Nunavut is birdwatching. Over 100 exotic arctic avian species that cannot be found in temperate or tropical destinations live within the territory.
How to get around
As with the other communities in Nunavut, most of the travelling around Arviat is done by way of snowmobiles or ATV. Dog sleds, the original mode of transportation used before there were snowmobiles, are also still used. However, owning and taking care of a dog team is quite costly. The primary method of getting from one community to another in Nunavut is by air. Apart from the Arviat Airport, there is an Arviat Water Aerodrome located 5.6 kilometres north northwest of the hamlet.
How to get there
Arviat Airport is served by Calm Air and First Air. Calm Air operates flights to Arviat from Baker Lake Airport in Baker Lake, Chesterfield Inlet Airport in Chesterfield Inlet, Churchill Airport in Churchill, Rankin Inlet Airport in Rankin Inlet, Thomson Airport in Thomson, Whale Cove Airport in Whale Cove, and Winnipeg Airport in Winnipeg. First Air provides services from Rankin Inlet Airport and Whale Cove Airport as well.
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