June 8, 2023

Aviation adventure awaits in the Northwest Territories

Jon Robinson

— Text and photos submitted by COPA Flight 108 (Northwest Territories Flying Association)

The Northwest Territories is a veritable paradise for aviation enthusiasts with 163,000 km2 of freshwater located on thousands of lakes. Bush-flying opportunities are endless with innumerable remote destinations accessible on floats, tundra tires or skis. The scenery is spectacular and the fishing is incomparable. The recently created Thaidene Nene National Park Reserve on the East Arm of Great Slave Lake boasts some of the most breathtaking landscapes in North America. Summer months offer 20 hours of sunlight giving plenty of VFR flying time for exploration.

COPA Flight 108 (Northwest Territories Flying Association) supports general aviation and safety in the Northwest Territories and strives to promote the region as an “aviation friendly” destination. To help achieve this important goal, NWTFA has recently completed the acquisition of a new floatplane dock dedicated for use by visiting aircraft. The Yellowknife Waterdrome (CEN9) is located in the eclectic Old Town neighbourhood which offers numerous options for accommodations, restaurants and activities.

The new visitor dock will be placed near the Ahmic Air floatbase and be available for use starting in summer 2023. Reservations will be managed online through the NWTFA website at www.flyingnwt.com and 100LL avgas will be available on site from Ahmic Air. The visitor dock is made possible through the support of Ahmic Air and with funding from the Government of the Northwest Territories Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment and the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency.

No floats? No Problem. Wheeled aircraft can land at the Yellowknife Airport (YZF) which is only a 5-minute drive from downtown Yellowknife. Secure visitor parking and fuel are available at YZF. The airport is within walking distance of the Fred Henne territorial campground and the city itself offers a wide range of amenities and activities.

NWTFA President Kevin Brezinski describes the new visitor dock as a true milestone for the organization. “The NWT offers enormous aviation tourism potential, and dedicated parking is critical in allowing us to open the region up a little wider for those wanting to experience northern adventure using their own aircraft.”

NWTFA and the Midnight Sun Fly In Association look forward to welcoming visiting pilots and passengers to Yellowknife this summer for the return of Yellowknife’s biennial Midnight Sun Fly-In. This popular event is planned for July 6 to 9, 2023 at the historic Wardair property on Back Bay. Activities will include a slideshow by Dominique Prinet, a fly-out hosted by NWTFA, and lots of dockside food and entertainment with great bush pilot conversation. Float, wheel and amphibious aircraft are welcome. For more information and registration details, visit www.midnightsunflyin.com.