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Between North America and Europe: Greenland as a Hub for International Air Traffic - Susan Vanek

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9:00 AM, Friday 4 Oct 2019 (30 minutes)
Air traffic infrastructure is an essential component of many Arctic communities, connecting not only towns and villages but also providing links to the globe and enabling avenues for economic development, such as tourism. Greenland is currently preparing to expand its airport system through the enlargement of several of its domestic airports to accommodate international traffic. However, the country has long been viewed as a potential hub for global air travel between North America and Europe with the United States and the United Kingdom, among others, commissioning exploratory flights and research into potential international flight routes utilizing the island beginning in the 1930s. This paper examines some of the ways Greenland has been envisioned as a hub for international air traffic historically and how some of these notions continue to resonate today as the country continues to move toward independence. It will also touch on some of the political debates surrounding the current airport expansion project.