Northern Re-supply
  Remote communities in Canada depend on annual sealift, winter roads and small airplanes for transportation services. These annual services are least expensive and necessary to transport heavy, indivisible, or bulky goods. These services are inconvenient however, even for storable cargo, because annual re-supply imposes significant inventory financing costs on buyers. Goods have to purchased and assembled in advance of transport, then inventoried for the balance of the year. Airplanes provide year round service for perishable and higher value goods that they can accommodate (typically less than 7 tons payload), but they are expensive. Perishable food product prices can be easily double the cost of the same goods in the south.
   Construction of airstrips during the early 1970s improved the communications and services available to the remote communities in Manitoba. While some airports need upgrading, and few more need to be constructed, the long-term problem for aviation is the absence of replacement aircraft. Air service to the remote communities depends on aircraft that are reaching the end of their practical operating lives. Some airplanes have been identified that could be used, but they require longer runways and significantly higher freight rates to be economically viable in the North.
   Significant distances are travelled to reach these broadly dispersed small population centres. Approximately 33,800 people live in 39 remote communities in Manitoba.
   The Manitoba government spends about $5.5 million annually to build, maintain and operate over 2,000 kilometres of winter roads. The cost to build a winter road ranges from $2,000 to $3,000 per kilometre. Winter roads open in January and close during March each year. Most winter roads are a combination of ice roads built over frozen lakes with based portions built over muskeg or solid ground. The cost of converting a winter road in to all-weather gravel roads is about $ 0.5 million per kilometre. For Manitoba, the cost of converting the winter road network would be about $1 billion in total.
  Few kilometres of all-weather roads are likely to be built in the North because the burden of sustaining the existing road infrastructure exceeds the financial ability of the Province of Manitoba. The Manitoba Government's 2020 Transportation Vision consultation process identified the following significant issues facing the existing road network:
Rapidly deteriorating aging highways
Over 1/3 of the paved surfaces are rated poor
Almost 1/4 of the bridges are at or beyond their normal service life of 50 years and need immediate repair
Over 2/3 of the gravel surfaces are below standard
Increased highway traffic and higher truck weighs are impacting the road surfaces
There are increasing restrictions on year-round RTAC/A1 routes
  The 2020 Vision report estimates that 30 percent of the existing roads (4,600 km) need pavement rehabilitation, or reconstruction, at an estimated cost of $1.2 billion. A further 40 percent (5,100 km) need to improvements within the next 10 years at a cost of $1.1 billion. Given the backlog of deferred maintenance and reconstruction facing the existing highway network in Manitoba, residents in the North can expect only marginal improvements in the all- weather roads to their communities.
  One of the most basic commodities required to support life in remote communities is fuel. Diesel fuel for power generation is loaded at fuel depots located in Winnipeg. An entire years supply is shipped in bulk tanker trucks during the short winter road season. If a community runs out, emergency supplies are airlifted in at great expense. Lack of fuel for heating is not an option for life in the harsh climates of the north. Bulk tanker trucks also transport Jet A fuel for aircraft and gasoline to supply cars, trucks and snowmobiles. All fuels are stored in tank farms located in the communities. For the most part, northern stores or independent fuel dealers operate the bulk storage sites.
  Onsite inventories impose significant inventory carrying costs. For example, the Northwest Company delivers approximately 3.5 million litres of diesel to the 11 communities where it supplies fuel and maintains storage. If the inventory levels were reduced to a months supply, the maximum amount of fuel that would have to be stored would be approximately 300,000 litres. The resulting reduction in carrying costs, assuming a fuel cost of $0.70/litre and an interest rate of 3.5 percent would be $80,000 annually. Another benefit of year round supply is the opportunity to manage fuel prices better by being able to purchase throughout the year rather than during a short window. Finally, the risks of environmental damage due to a major tank leak would be lessened.
 Winter roads are the lifelines for these isolated settlements providing them with access to storable goods, such as fuel, canned foods and durables. Winter roads also create employment for road construction and maintenance, and facilitate intercommunity travel. Transportation over winter roads is costly on a ton-kilometre basis because of the low vehicle utilization and limited two-way hauling. Additionally, severe weather affects reliability and adds an element of risk in terms of both safety and operational efficiency. In many years, some trucks layover until its safe to go back out on the road the following winter.
Climate Change
  The supply of transportation services to the north has not changed greatly in the past three decades. Some refinements in the winter roads have occurred where sections have been re- routed to land and away from lake crossings. In addition, pre-fabricated wooden bridges have been installed over river crossings to cut the distances and improve the reliability of some winter road routes. On the other hand, the evidence of climate change is creating new concerns about the sustainability of existing transportation means.
 The milder winters experienced in Manitoba are cutting the number of days that winter roads can operate in the province. Whereas 50 to 60 days of operation was the norm east of Lake Winnipeg prior to the mid-1990s, less than 30 days utilization is observed in half the years since 1997. Thus far, the problem is less pronounced further north, but the impact of climate change is expected to be greater there because the magnitude of global warming is accentuated in the higher latitudes. Warmer temperatures could make the sealift operations safer and extend their season, but this is of limited value in Manitoba that depends mainly on winter roads.
   The impact a warming trend in temperatures is estimated to have very deleterious effects on the operating season of winter roads. Detailed statistical studies of climate change in the Berrens River region have projected that warmer temperatures will reduce the winter road season by 5 to 14 days over the next 75 years.
Estimates of Winter Road Operations, 2020- 2080
    The   warming   climate   trend   has   caused   government   planners   to   reconsider   the   viability   of winter   roads.   Their   response   is   to   begin   realigning   winter   roads   over   land   to   reduce   their dependence   on   ice   crossing   that   are   no   longer   reliable   or   safe.   The   costs   per   capita   of   upgrading and   maintaining   these   road   systems   is   high   because   of   the   difficult   terrain,   including   muskeg and   multiple   stream   and   river   crossings,   and   the   length   of   road   that   must   be   built   to   service   a community of only a few thousand people.
Quality of Life
    Like   all   technological   and   economic   changes,   better   transportation   has   mixed   social   effects. The   loss   of   wilderness   setting   and   traditional   lifestyles   could   be   the   outcome   of   constructing   all weather   roads.   Some   First   Nations   worry   that   opening   access   to   hunters   from   the   south   and cottage   developments   could   affect   negatively   on   traditional   trapping   areas.   At   the   same   time, all-weather   roads   would   reduce   the   social   isolation.   Inter-community   travel   is   expensive   by   air charter,   or   limited   to   the   period   of   winter   roads.   The   cost   of   air   travel   limits   inter-community contact and visiting children who are away at school in the south.
         Hybrid    air    vehicles    could    have    less    detrimental    impacts    than    all    weather    roads.    The communities   could   continue   to   enjoy   a   geographical   buffer   from   the   outside,   and   preserve   the virgin   forest   intact.   At   the   same   time,   hybrid   air   vehicle   will   be   combination   vehicles   that   carry passengers   as   well   as   cargo.   It   seems   likely   that   hybrid   air   vehicle   would   follow   routes   that connect   communities   rather   than   doing   point-to-point   deliveries   from   some   larger   base   to individual locations .
       Patients   requiring   complex   medical   services   in   Manitoba   are   transported   to   hospitals   in Winnipeg   or   Thompson.   The   availability   and   comfort   of   this   transport   depends   on   the   severity   of the   problem,   but   air   ambulances   are   too   expensive   for   more   than   emergency   cases.   Hybrid   air vehicle   could   provide   a   much   better   system   of   transport   for   medical   treatment.   The   space available   in   a   hybrid   air   vehicle   could   accommodate   cots,   and   it   is   conceivable   that   a   hybrid   air vehicle could be outfitted with a dental unit that could provide care during each circuit.
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Copyright © 2017
 Millennium Airship Inc/SkyFreighter Canada Ltd
Northern Re-supply
  Remote communities in Canada depend on annual sealift, winter roads and small airplanes for transportation services. These annual services are least expensive and necessary to transport heavy, indivisible, or bulky goods. These services are inconvenient however, even for storable cargo, because annual re-supply imposes significant inventory financing costs on buyers. Goods have to purchased and assembled in advance of transport, then inventoried for the balance of the year. Airplanes provide year round service for perishable and higher value goods that they can accommodate (typically less than 7 tons payload), but they are expensive. Perishable food product prices can be easily double the cost of the same goods in the south.
   Construction of airstrips during the early 1970s improved the communications and services available to the remote communities in Manitoba. While some airports need upgrading, and few more need to be constructed, the long-term problem for aviation is the absence of replacement aircraft. Air service to the remote communities depends on aircraft that are reaching the end of their practical operating lives. Some airplanes have been identified that could be used, but they require longer runways and significantly higher freight rates to be economically viable in the North.
   Significant distances are travelled to reach these broadly dispersed small population centres. Approximately 33,800 people live in 39 remote communities in Manitoba.
   The Manitoba government spends about $5.5 million annually to build, maintain and operate over 2,000 kilometres of winter roads. The cost to build a winter road ranges from $2,000 to $3,000 per kilometre. Winter roads open in January and close during March each year. Most winter roads are a combination of ice roads built over frozen lakes with based portions built over muskeg or solid ground. The cost of converting a winter road in to all-weather gravel roads is about $ 0.5 million per kilometre. For Manitoba, the cost of converting the winter road network would be about $1 billion in total.
  Few kilometres of all-weather roads are likely to be built in the North because the burden of sustaining the existing road infrastructure exceeds the financial ability of the Province of Manitoba. The Manitoba Government's 2020 Transportation Vision consultation process identified the following significant issues facing the existing road network:
Rapidly deteriorating aging highways
Over 1/3 of the paved surfaces are rated poor
Almost 1/4 of the bridges are at or beyond their normal service life of 50 years and need immediate repair
Over 2/3 of the gravel surfaces are below standard
Increased highway traffic and higher truck weighs are impacting the road surfaces
There are increasing restrictions on year- round RTAC/A1 routes
  The 2020 Vision report estimates that 30 percent of the existing roads (4,600 km) need pavement rehabilitation, or reconstruction, at an estimated cost of $1.2 billion. A further 40 percent (5,100 km) need to improvements within the next 10 years at a cost of $1.1 billion. Given the backlog of deferred maintenance and reconstruction facing the existing highway network in Manitoba, residents in the North can expect only marginal improvements in the all-weather roads to their communities.
  One of the most basic commodities required to support life in remote communities is fuel. Diesel fuel for power generation is loaded at fuel depots located in Winnipeg. An entire years supply is shipped in bulk tanker trucks during the short winter road season. If a community runs out, emergency supplies are airlifted in at great expense. Lack of fuel for heating is not an option for life in the harsh climates of the north. Bulk tanker trucks also transport Jet A fuel for aircraft and gasoline to supply cars, trucks and snowmobiles. All fuels are stored in tank farms located in the communities. For the most part, northern stores or independent fuel dealers operate the bulk storage sites.
  Onsite inventories impose significant inventory carrying costs. For example, the Northwest Company delivers approximately 3.5 million litres of diesel to the 11 communities where it supplies fuel and maintains storage. If the inventory levels were reduced to a months supply, the maximum amount of fuel that would have to be stored would be approximately 300,000 litres. The resulting reduction in carrying costs, assuming a fuel cost of $0.70/litre and an interest rate of 3.5 percent would be $80,000 annually. Another benefit of year round supply is the opportunity to manage fuel prices better by being able to purchase throughout the year rather than during a short window. Finally, the risks of environmental damage due to a major tank leak would be lessened.
 Winter roads are the lifelines for these isolated settlements providing them with access to storable goods, such as fuel, canned foods and durables. Winter roads also create employment for road construction and maintenance, and facilitate intercommunity travel. Transportation over winter roads is costly on a ton-kilometre basis because of the low vehicle utilization and limited two-way hauling. Additionally, severe weather affects reliability and adds an element of risk in terms of both safety and operational efficiency. In many years, some trucks layover until its safe to go back out on the road the following winter.
Climate Change
  The supply of transportation services to the north has not changed greatly in the past three decades. Some refinements in the winter roads have occurred where sections have been re- routed to land and away from lake crossings. In addition, pre- fabricated wooden bridges have been installed over river crossings to cut the distances and improve the reliability of some winter road routes. On the other hand, the evidence of climate change is creating new concerns about the sustainability of existing transportation means.
 The milder winters experienced in Manitoba are cutting the number of days that winter roads can operate in the province. Whereas 50 to 60 days of operation was the norm east of Lake Winnipeg prior to the mid-1990s, less than 30 days utilization is observed in half the years since 1997. Thus far, the problem is less pronounced further north, but the impact of climate change is expected to be greater there because the magnitude of global warming is accentuated in the higher latitudes. Warmer temperatures could make the sealift operations safer and extend their season, but this is of limited value in Manitoba that depends mainly on winter roads.
   The impact a warming trend in temperatures is estimated to have very deleterious effects on the operating season of winter roads. Detailed statistical studies of climate change in the Berrens River region have projected that warmer temperatures will reduce the winter road season by 5 to 14 days over the next 75 years.
Estimates of Winter Road Operations, 2020- 2080
    The   warming   climate   trend   has   caused   government   planners to   reconsider   the   viability   of   winter   roads.   Their   response   is   to begin    realigning    winter    roads    over    land    to    reduce    their dependence   on   ice   crossing   that   are   no   longer   reliable   or   safe. The   costs   per   capita   of   upgrading   and   maintaining   these   road systems    is    high    because    of    the    difficult    terrain,    including muskeg   and   multiple   stream   and   river   crossings,   and   the   length of   road   that   must   be   built   to   service   a   community   of   only   a   few thousand people.
Quality of Life
      Like     all     technological     and     economic     changes,     better transportation   has   mixed   social   effects.   The   loss   of   wilderness setting    and    traditional    lifestyles    could    be    the    outcome    of constructing   all   weather   roads.   Some   First   Nations   worry   that opening    access    to    hunters    from    the    south    and    cottage developments   could   affect   negatively   on   traditional   trapping areas.   At   the   same   time,   all-weather   roads   would   reduce   the social    isolation.    Inter-community    travel    is    expensive    by    air charter,   or   limited   to   the   period   of   winter   roads.   The   cost   of   air travel   limits   inter-community   contact   and   visiting   children   who are away at school in the south.
       Hybrid   air   vehicles   could   have   less   detrimental   impacts   than all   weather   roads.   The   communities   could   continue   to   enjoy   a geographical   buffer   from   the   outside,   and   preserve   the   virgin forest    intact.    At    the    same    time,    hybrid    air    vehicle    will    be combination   vehicles   that   carry   passengers   as   well   as   cargo.   It seems   likely   that   hybrid   air   vehicle   would   follow   routes   that connect   communities   rather   than   doing   point-to-point   deliveries from some larger base to individual locations .
       Patients   requiring   complex   medical   services   in   Manitoba   are transported    to    hospitals    in    Winnipeg    or    Thompson.    The availability    and    comfort    of    this    transport    depends    on    the severity   of   the   problem,   but   air   ambulances   are   too   expensive for    more    than    emergency    cases.    Hybrid    air    vehicle    could provide    a    much    better    system    of    transport    for    medical treatment.   The   space   available   in   a   hybrid   air   vehicle   could accommodate    cots,    and    it    is    conceivable    that    a    hybrid    air vehicle   could   be   outfitted   with   a   dental   unit   that   could   provide care during each circuit.
Copyright © 2017
 Millennium Airship Inc/SkyFreighter Canada Ltd