Cargo project could create 1,000 more jobs at Anchorage airport
The manager of Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport says the amount of cargo that passed through the airport in 2018 grew by 2.5%.
"The Anchorage airport is responsible for one in 10 jobs in the Anchorage area," airport manager Jim Szczesniak said. "This is just to continue to grow the economy here and strengthen the economy here."
Some cargo remains on the ramp, while it waits to be loaded. Other cargo is kept in a storage building about 1.5 miles away from the jets.
Szczesniak believes more cargo will be handled at the airport. Land on the east side of the airport is where a new 700,000 square foot cold cargo storage building could be built.
Jason Gamache is one of the architects involved with the project.
"This is a resource that we have right under our feet and over our heads," Gamache said. "It's fairly invisible to most people, it's not dependent on oil, or tourism, or fish, or other natural resources. This is a global economy that flies right over Anchorage every day."
The storage building is not the only one Gamache plans to work on at the airport.
A 1.5 million square foot cargo building is planned for the west side of the airport, the first development there. Both buildings combined could cost $370 million. But Gamache says that could create more than 1,000 jobs.
"That's just for design, engineering and construction. Beyond that there will be employment for the permanent workers for those facilities as well," Gamache said.
The new buildings would also allow for more cargo to pass through Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport.
"Instead of getting little chunks of seafood we can send out, we can send out volumes of seafood, and it opens the market to different parts of the world," Szczesniak said.
Szczesniak says construction on both could start next year, as the buildings are expected to open in 2021.
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