Arctic Maritime and Aviation Transportation Infrastructure Initiative (AMATII)

The Arctic Maritime and Aviation Transportation Infrastructure Initiative (AMATII) will provide a platform for addressing critical needs in the Arctic’s aviation and maritime environment. The Initiative will approach Arctic air and maritime transportation policy, education, and research from various vantage points and will facilitate ongoing and increased communication and collaboration throughout the Arctic. It will serve as a coordination point for research and will facilitate technology transfer within and between Arctic nations.

With a multinational steering committee composed of government, academic and private sector entities, the AMATII is a result of the work of the Arctic Council’s Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment (AMSA) and the on-going work of a multi-agency (including MARAD, DOT, FAA and Transport Canada) effort). It builds on and responds to past efforts and projects of two working groups within the Arctic Council – PAME’s AMSA (2009) and the SDWG’s Circumpolar Infrastructure Task Force (CITF), which acted as a platform for the Arctic Aviation Experts Workshop in 2005 and 2006. More directly, it follows on the strategic plan set forth at the 2010 Arctic Aviation Experts Conference (AAEC).


  • Database: including baseline assessment of maritime and aviation infrastructure, the database will accommodate continual updates, ensuring that it will not become outdated.
  • Web-based, interactive map: illustrating the overlapping spheres of responsibility and capacity. The database will inform Arctic nations’ ability to respond will be coordinated, intentional and built upon a well-established understanding of both need and capability.
  • Arctic Aviation and Port Infrastructure conference: connecting stakeholders from across the Arctic to one another and critic issues as they assess and evaluate the information collected for the database.

Deliverables will illustrate existing soft and hard infrastructure and help northern nations develop their own policy and development strategies. The project will foster circumpolar cooperation by identifying areas of overlap and opportunities for technical cooperation and complementary infrastructure support. Outcomes will be communicated regularly to the Sustainable Development Working Group of the Arctic Council.


It is important to recognize the intermodal nature of transportation challenges in the Arctic – and an increasingly busy circumpolar North – and the AAEC and AMSA highlighted the unique needs and opportunities for Arctic transportation. Increased resource extraction to support economic and community development; increased shipping traffic through the Northern Sea Route and activity in the Northwest Passage due to a lessening of sea ice extent; and increased passenger traffic for the same reason, have resulted in the corresponding need for an increased capacity to respond by sea and by air.

Response is most effective when addressed through a strategic, intermodal approach that includes marine and air ability. Arctic marine ports and airports act as an important base for response capability; with each serving as a gateway anchor that supports SAR; resource extraction and development activities; pollution prevention and environmental safety; and community health and security. These can be considered critical components of sustainable development and the resiliency of Arctic peoples and communities.


  • S. Department of State
  • Government of Iceland
  • Transport Canada
  • State of Alaska
  • Arctic Portal
  • Shell
  • S. Department of Transportation Maritime Administration
  • University of Alaska Fairbanks
  • Walter and Gordon Duncan Foundation