On 15 September 2007, the Northwest Passage was completely opened to non-icebreaking vessels for the
first time in human memory. Université Laval oceanographer and ArcticNet scientific director, Louis Fortier,
forecasts an Arctic free of summer ice as early as 2010-15. The year 2013 is the earliest that the aging
fleet of 18 Canadian Forces Lockheed CP-140 Aurora maritime patrol aircraft would be replaced.
 As well as familiarizing flight crews, this could be combined with navigation aids inspection, another Transport
Canada mandated task currently performed under contract by NavCanada (using two ex-TC
Challengers which, interestingly, are fitted with nose gravel guards).
 Landing at (or at least making arrangements to land at) remote Arctic airstrips addresses another concern. The
Challengers have long range for their size but not sufficient to fly low-level, non-stop patrols across the
entire Canadian Arctic. It would be wise to divide patrols into east and west sectors with alternative airstrips
established for emergencies, weather considerations, etc. The Danes have shown that the CL-604 MMA can easily operate
from gravel strips, and Transport Canada has operated from Iqaluit, Resolute, and Inuvik in the past.