• 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

  • Crime

    Man charged with pulling down telephone pole

    by Associated Press on Oct 31, 15:51

    A Fairbanks man suspected of shearing off a telephone pole when his truck pulled down an overhead wire has been issued a reckless driving summons. The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner (http://bit.ly/1pb91pU) reports 58-year-old James Knopke on Sept. 12 was pulling a trailer behind a 7.5-ton military surplus vehicle, which had a 16-foot homemade boom attached to […]

  • News

    Federal agency releases Arctic drilling review

    by Associated Press on Oct 31, 14:21

    The federal agency overseeing offshore petroleum development has released a revised environmental review of drilling off Alaska’s northwest coast, and critics say it shows the risk is too great. Mike LeVine of Oceana says it’s the third time the government has tried to justify offering leases in the Chukchi Sea based on an unfair evaluation […]

  • Politics

    Campaign 2014: Byron Mallott

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Oct 31, 13:30

    This week, KTVA is running a series of interviews with the main candidates for office. KTVA’s Rhonda McBride brings us interviews with the candidates for lieutenant governor, starting with Byron Mallott — who has worn a number of hats, from mayor of Juneau and Yakutat to director of the Permanent Fund Corporation. For Mallott, however, […]

  • News

    Virgin Galactic spaceship crashes in Calif.; 1 reported dead

    by CBS/AP on Oct 31, 12:28

    Last Updated Oct 31, 2014 4:18 PM EDT MOJAVE, Calif. – A Virgin Galactic space tourism rocket, the SpaceShipTwo, exploded and crashed Friday during a test flight, killing one person aboard and seriously injuring another, witnesses and officials said. Wreckage was spotted in Southern California’s Mojave Desert. The spacecraft was carrying a crew of two. The Kern […]

  • News

    Fatal crash closes Seward Highway near Girdwood

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Oct 31, 11:37

    One person has died and another sustained serious injuries after a multiple-vehicle collision on the Seward Highway Friday, Alaska State Troopers say. The crash — which occurred just before 11 a.m. north of Girdwood near Mile 96 — closed traffic in both directions as first responders assisted the victims, said AST spokeswoman Megan Peters. A […]

  • News

    Former Guard member speaks out about her assault

    by Emily Carlson on Oct 31, 11:23

    A former Alaska National Guard member says it wasn’t what Guard leadership did, it’s what they didn’t do that nearly killed her after she was sexually assaulted. In the wake of the September report that revealed claims of misconduct and mistrust within the Guard, Spc. Melissa Jones is speaking out. It’s agonizing, she says, but […]

  • On-Air

    Frost project hides art throughout Anchorage parks

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Oct 31, 11:10

    The dark woods can be a scary place, so some local artists are helping to brighten them up this season. You can see new art installations popping up throughout Anchorage, if you know where to look. Every few weeks throughout the winter a new piece will be hidden in a local park and Daybreak will […]

  • On-Air

    Meet Baby Girl, this week’s Daybreak Adopt-A-Pet

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Oct 31, 9:29

    Meet Baby Girl, a spayed, domestic short-hair kitty. She is social and affectionate and will greet you with a purr. She is full of love — even offering little kitty kisses — and loves to be pet, nudging you gently to ask for more. Baby Girl is a senior kitty who has lived with both […]