• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
1m 57s

Study examines economics of aviation

By Kirsten Swann 10:50 AM November 19, 2013

Lake Hood Seaplane Base generates hundreds of jobs, millions of dollars annually

ANCHORAGE – The world’s largest seaplane base is a multimillion-dollar economic engine for Anchorage and the surrounding region, a new report concluded.

The Lake Hood Seaplane Base economic impact study was commissioned by the Anchorage Economic Development Corporation and Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport. McDowell Group researchers interviewed more than two dozen Lake Hood businesses, agencies and other organizations over the course of the study.

They found the seaplane base accounts for 230 jobs and $42 million in economic impact.

“I really didn’t have an idea precisely how big it would be,” said Tim Coons, an airport operations specialist who’s worked at Lake Hood for about a year.

Coons said the economic study laid the groundwork for a master plan update; a process set to begin next year. Besides millions of dollars in direct economic impact through jobs and money spent at the West Anchorage seaplane base, the report also found about $17 million in indirect spending generated by the base.

The seaplane base is the busiest in the world: In 2012, 67,000 planes took off from Lake Hood, which boasts 500 plane tie-downs and 500 floatplane slips. The report found the majority of the 23,000 tourists who took flightseeing trips last year departed from Lake Hood.

The base is so popular, Coons said, there are hundreds of pilots on the waiting list to secure a floatplane slip at the airport. Those at the top of the list have been waiting for ten years, he said.

It could be worth the wait.

Alaskan aviation is a $3.5 billion industry, the report stated. It accounts for 10 percent of employment statewide, and Lake Hood Seaplane Base plays a vital role, doing more aviation-linked business than many regional hubs and major tourist destinations around Alaska. One example: The base generates roughly seven times more economic activity than the Talkeetna airport, “the aviation gateway to Denali National Park.”

Coons said the numbers would all be carefully considered as the airport considered plans for growth over the coming years. Whether they chose to expand Lake Hood or optimize existing facilities, he said the McDowell Group study emphasized the importance of the bustling base to Anchorage’s economy.

“General aviation in particular is really part of the lifeblood of Alaska,” Coons said. “It’s definitely not something to trifle with.”

Latest Stories

  • Politics

    Senate considers Permanent Fund spending bill with minimum PFD guarantee

    by Liz Raines on Feb 09, 21:34

      JUNEAU — Alaska lawmakers from all parties agree they need to focus on bridging the state’s unprecedented budget shortfall this legislative session. The fastest way to do it is by using the Permanent Fund’s earnings to pay for government, instead of the Permanent Fund dividend program. In December, Gov. Bill Walker introduced a proposal that […]

  • Lifestyle

    ‘Schools on the Edge’ Part Two: Dillingham

    by Daniella Rivera on Feb 09, 21:20

      ANCHORAGE — “I didn’t really expect to get this job,” Jolin Kapotak said, sitting in front of a 3D scanner. The work he’s doing at the University of Fairbanks Alaska Bristol Bay Campus is tedious, but revolutionary. Four years ago, a pregnant whale washed up on Dillingham shores. Now, he’s working on what UAF […]

  • Politics

    Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation lets public weigh in on bills to change fund spending

    by Liz Raines on Feb 09, 20:50

      Updated at 6:25 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 10 JUNEAU — The Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation will hold a meeting at 1 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 19 at the Atwood building in Anchorage to discuss three bills in the Legislature that would impact the workings of the fund. Those bills include the governor’s proposed Senate Bill […]

  • News

    Predictions show southcentral Alaska at risk in 2016 wildfire season

    by Bonney Bowman on Feb 09, 20:29

      ANCHORAGE — The conditions are right for an early and damaging wildfire season. How do experts know? The science behind predicting where the fire season will spark looks at available fuel, past precipitation and the weather right now. Alaska’s 2015 wildfire season was the second biggest on record, with more than five million acres […]

  • News

    Mardi Gras keeps bakers busy making king cakes

    by Heather Hintze on Feb 09, 20:06

      ANCHORAGE — On “Fat Tuesday,” House of Bread bakers were sending king cakes out the door as fast as they could make them. “We’ve made about 100 but we have another batch coming up and we keep getting people coming in and we’re running out,” said manager Carson Baldiviez around 10:30 that morning. “It’s […]

  • News

    Troopers: Teen pushed friend out of the way before truck hit him

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Feb 09, 19:13

      WASILLA — A Wasilla teen who was hit and killed by a truck on Pittman Road Monday pushed his friend out of the way before being struck, according to Alaska State Troopers. In an email Tuesday, AST spokeswoman Megan Peters confirmed that Austin Edenfield was walking along the shoulder of the road with another […]

  • DayBreak

    Travel Tuesday: Go West Summit

    by Daybreak Staff on Feb 09, 17:07

    With the state grappling with a massive deficit, low oil prices and the loss of jobs in the oil industry, tourism has never been more important. That’s why a special travel-related event later this month couldn’t come at a better time. Tuesday, Julie Saupe, the President and CEO of Visit Anchorage joined Daybreak to talk […]

  • News

    N. Korea used a cagey new trick in rocket launch

    by CBS/AP on Feb 09, 16:58

    Minutes after North Korea launched its rocket, South Korea’s navy detected a rain of fragments falling into the sea and then a sooner-than-expected disappearance of the rocket from their radar, suggesting a possible failure. News outlets working in real time jumped on the idea. But it quickly proved wrong. South Korean officials and foreign analysts say […]