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Arctic Borderlands Ecological Knowledge Co-op

Herschel Island Aircraft Movements

Herschel Aircraft Movements

What is happening?

  • These graphs show the number of aircraft that either landed or flew in the vicinity of Herschel Island between April and September.
  • The number of helicopter landings peaked in 2008 and was likely associated with research carried out on the island during the International Polar Year.

Why is it happening?

  • Most aircraft landings are related to activity in Qikiqtaruk Territorial Park and include tourists visiting the park, researchers working in the area as well as flights to support park operations.
  • There is less information about the overflights although notes from the Qikiqtaruk Territorial Park rangers suggest some planes are carrying tourists on sight seeing flights while others flights appear to be military and Coast Guard operations.

Why is it important?

  • Some wildlife are sensitive to aircraft disturbance so monitoring this indicator may help identify concerns if there is an increase in activity.
  • Measurements of aircraft activity related to industrial development or tourism can be used as a measure of human activities in an area.

Technical Notes

  • These data have been collected by park rangers who are stationed at Qikiqtaruk Territorial Park between April and September each year.
  • Fixed wing landings, depending on the season, may include float plane landings in the harbour, aircraft using skis to land on sea ice or aircraft on wheels landing on the beach.

Text revised: Jan. 24, 2014     Data added: Jan. 24, 2014