A recent report on Alaska’s aviation contribution to the economy finds that the industry adds 3.8 billion dollars annually to the state’s economy. 82% of Alaskan communities are accessible only by aircraft, providing 239 public airports a significant amount of business.
Fairbanks International Airport attributes to one in thirteen jobs, contributing significantly to local rates of employment. (Carly Sjordal/KTVF)
The study was conducted by the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities, who found that airports provide 35,000 jobs statewide. Fairbanks International Airport attributes to one in thirteen jobs, contributing significantly to local rates of employment.
Governor Dunleavy said in a statement “The economic strength of Alaska’s aviation industry clearly shows the economy is becoming more diverse and growing, in fact, Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport was recently named the best air cargo airport in North America and that tells the global business community that Alaska is open for business”.
Regarding the budget cuts and effects on the transportation department, John Binder, Deputy Commissioner of the Alaska Department of Transportation was hopeful.
“You know so far the administration understands and recognizes that transportation in critical to Alaska and the economy… so transportation has been relatively little affected. There we’ve had some minor cuts in our operating budget. But its specifically on the aviation side again since these are the only means of access the administration is working very hard to make sure were not impacting peoples livelihood and their ability to get to and from destinations as they need to.” Said Binder.
When asked what the most important message is, to take away from the report, Binder answered:
“I think the big thing is that aviation is really just an energizer to the economy and one of the biggest drivers to the economy statewide. And just for the ability for people to come and go and for commerce to take place. So it’s very important that we continue to operate as a business and be open for business to both Alaskans and people outside and keep our economy growing so we can work our way out of this budget situation.”
The report is available to view at www.alaskaasp.com/Documents.aspx.