• 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

  • On-Air

    Reality Check w/ John Tracy: Skip Black Friday, shop local

    by John Tracy on Nov 26, 16:30

      Black Friday: The retail cure for the Thanksgiving hangover. Big box stores lure us in with one-time only deals, and we respond like Santa to sugar cookies. Last year, Americans spent more than $50 Billion dollars on Black Friday weekend. But, before you set your alarm clock for 5 a.m., I want to encourage you […]

  • News

    Mountain View gas station serves free meals for holiday

    by Shannon Ballard on Nov 26, 16:00

    You don’t usually find a full kitchen at a gas station, but a former take-out counter in Mountain View serves a different purpose once a year. On Thanksgiving, it serves the community. In Sook Baik owns the neighbor Shell station. Like many who have found their way to Alaska, she’s an immigrant. She moved from Korea with close […]

  • News

    Soldotna man killed in house fire Thanksgiving morning, wife survives

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Nov 26, 15:37

    A Soldotna man was killed in a residential fire Thursday morning after waking his wife and alerting her to the danger. Alaska State Troopers in Soldotna received a 911 call reporting a fire on Mackey Lake Road at 7:14 a.m., according to an online dispatch. One of the residents of the home, 90-year-old John Kelsch, […]

  • Lifestyle

    Tips for safe online shopping in the age of hackers

    by Amy Kraft / CBS News on Nov 26, 15:35

    Nearly 135 million Americans will be shopping on Thanksgiving weekend according to a survey by the National Retail Federation. Although Black Fridayand Cyber Monday are perfect times to buy gifts for the upcoming holidays, they are also the perfect time for hackers to steal customers’ credit card and personal data. “Security has now become a board […]

  • News

    Meals on Wheels delivers Thanksgiving dinner for Anchorage seniors

    by Heather Hintze on Nov 26, 15:33

    Long before the sun came up Thanksgiving morning, volunteers were hard at work at the Salvation Army’s McKinnel House. There was an assembly line of people scooping mashed potatoes and piling on the turkey for more than 300 dinners for the Meals on Wheels program to make sure no senior citizens go hungry this holiday. […]

  • News

    Hundreds turn out for Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot in Anchorage

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Nov 26, 15:04

    This year’s Skinny Raven Turkey Trot in downtown Anchorage was host to more than 2,100 runners, making it the largest Turkey Trot to date. Some of the runners turned out in full costume, while others dressed for the chilly morning weather. First time “Turkey trotters” Michael and Milly Sullivan arrived decked out in turkey hats […]

  • Lifestyle

    Tests zero in on source of E. coli in Costco chicken salad

    by Associated Press on Nov 26, 15:02

    Testing has pointed toward a vegetable mix from a California food wholesaler as the source of E. coli in Costco chicken salad that has been linked to an outbreak that has sickened 19 people in seven states, a Costco official said Wednesday. Craig Wilson, Costco vice president of food safety and quality assurance, said he was told […]

  • Crime

    Former caretaker gets 20 years for shooting death

    by Associated Press on Nov 26, 11:59

    A former in-home caretaker will spend 20 years in prison for fatally shooting a blind woman’s husband. The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports (http://bit.ly/1MGipKm) no time will be suspended for 53-year-old Anthony Wayne Charleston under a sentence issued Wednesday by Superior Court Judge Paul Lyle. Charging documents say the woman called 911 in March 2013 when […]