Churchill Airport

Creating product and logistics solutions for remote communities


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Building better runways in remote communities

Airport runway project, Churchill, Manitoba


Location: Churchill, Manitoba

Cenovus's role: Provide PG 58-40P, made with a new formulation, and SS-1 emulsion to the remote area of Churchill, Manitoba for a much-needed update of the Churchill Airport runway.

Customer: Canadian Federal Government

Partners: Nelson River Construction

Completion date: August 2020


The Churchill Airport Project is a feat unlike many Cenovus Asphalt has taken on before. Cenovus Asphalt was tasked with providing asphalt and emulsion products to the project in a remote location, with no access by roads in or out.

The Churchill Airport, originally constructed during the Second World War by the United States Army Air Forces, serves the Northern Manitoba town of Churchill on the west shore of the Hudson Bay. The town, famous for its polar bears, is a hub of ecotourism and arctic research.

Cenovus Asphalt was chosen by Nelson River Construction to be the asphalt and emulsion supplier, because of our dedication to creating unique product and logistics solutions.

Map showing location of Churchill, Manitoba


Cenovus Asphalt’s Technical Services and Innovation group provided a custom formulation of PG 58-40P and an SS-1 emulsion. The asphalt had to be flexible enough to hold up despite the frigid temperatures, while also being strong enough for the abuse that an airport runway endures.

Unique logistics solutions were created to coordinate transportation of product by rail into the remote community. Cenovus Asphalt’s relationships with major rail carriers across North America is key to creating consistent product access.

Paving equipment at Churchill Airport


Cenovus Asphalt is a reliable partner in providing the right product and logistics solutions to remote communities in need of critical infrastructure updates. To the 899 permanent residents of Churchill, their small airport is an essential piece of infrastructure, and, every year, visitors come from all over the world for Churchill’s famous population of polar bears.

Polar bears in Churchill

Despite being a smaller project compared to the average highway paving jobs, Cenovus maintained the same level of commitment. Cenovus Asphalt provides consultative relationships that allow their partners to complete complex projects.

For Cenovus Asphalt, we focus on building better roads but in the case of Churchill, Manitoba, the focus was on building a better runway.

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