Tuktoyaktuk Airport, also known as James Gruben Airport, is a public airport that serves the community of Tuktoyaktuk in Northwest Territories, Canada. Classified as an airport of entry by NAV CANADA and staffed by Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), the airport is only capable of serving only general aviation aircraft that carries no more than 15 passengers.
As an Inuvialuit settlement in the extreme north of Northwest Territories of Canada, Tuktoyaktuk, sometimes called Tuk, lies north of the Arctic Circle on the shore of the Arctic Ocean. Formerly known as Port Brabant, the community was renamed in 1950, becoming the first place in Canada to revert to the traditional Native name. Tuktoyaktuk literally translates to “it looks like a caribou.” Legend has it that a woman who was looking at a caribou waded into the water, became petrified, and became a stone. To this day, the reefs resembling the petrified caribou can be seen during low tide. Naturally, Tuktoyaktuk’s natural harbour was used as a means to transport supplies to other Inuvialuit settlements.
As a small snowy settlement, you can expect to see a number of attractions that will give you the chills. You should see The Ice House, a huge freezer dug in 1963 underneath the town. It is huge and eerie, yet amazingly useful that locals have transformed it into a huge freezer and used it to store meats that were collected during hunts. The Ice House is divided in 19 rooms and three hallways. Strangely, the house is at its coolest during the summer months, and it is at its warmest during the winter months, to the point that meat is taken out to prevent molding.
You can also spot Pingos, which are ice-covered domes found in the high arctic. About a thousand pingos exist in Tuktoyaktuk. Get to the Pingos via snowmobile and hike up, and once you’ve reached the top, you can slope down.
A historical mark you will find in Tuktoyaktuk would be the Distant Early Warning (DEW) Line that was notably used during the cold war. The line was created by the American and Canadian governments, and was designed to serve as a warning in case the Russians attacked via the Arctic Circle. The station in Tuktoyaktuk is marked by a few giant snowballs, which serves as the line itself. Another landmark you should go to is The Point, wherein you will find the historical roots of the town amidst the backdrop of the Beaufort Sea.
From the airport, you can reach the town centre by making pre-arrangements prior to your arrival. One notable service you could contact would be the charter van for Ookpik Tours. You can also reach the town via ice road by taking a snowmobile, which is a common mode of transportation, as the harsh weather can be very hard on normal vehicles and will take a long time to warm up, especially in the winter months. Once you’ve reached the town, everything is practically accessible on foot.
You can book a flight and reach Tuktoyaktuk via Skyscanner, your online source for cheap flights and tickets. Tuktoyaktuk Airport is only being served by aircrafts coming from the administrative centre of Inuvik, with Kenn Borek Air operating as Aklak Air the sole airline to serve the airport on a regular basis. To reack Tuktoyaktuk, you should fly in first to Inuvik (Mike Zubko) Airport in Inuvik, another town in Northern Territories. Inuvik is being served by airlines such as Air North, Canadian North, First Air, Kenn Borek Air operating as Aklak Air, and North-Wright Airways. The aforementioned airlines fly to and fro destinations such as Dawson City, Old Crow, Whitehorse, Edmonton, Norman Wells, Yellowknife, Paulatuk, Sachs Harbour, Tuktoyaktuk, Ulukhatok, Aklavik, and Fort Good Hope. In addition, Kenn Borek Air also offers seasonal flights to Fort McPherson.
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