The Alaska Congressional Delegation Welcomes $21 Million BUILD Grant for Anchorage International Airport
The Alaska Congressional Delegation welcomes a $21 million Better Utilizing Investment to Leverage Development (BUILD) grant to the Alaska Energy Authority to construct a 190,000 square foot climate-controlled cold storage facility at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (TSAIA). US Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan and Representative Don Young advocated for the grant to Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao in May.
While TSAIA is one of the busiest cargo airports in the world, and roughly two-thirds of cargo freighters and half of the total cargo flown between the United States and Asia transits through the airport; however, only a mere fraction of the cargo leaves the aircraft for storage or sorting in Alaska. At present, the availability of cold storage is limited at TSAIA, and air carriers who require such facilities need to rely on infrastructure in other states to meet their needs.
According to a release from the Congressional Delegation, “The proposed cold storage facility, and other planned expansions, would increasingly enable air cargo carriers to both refuel at TSAIA and store or sort freight for shipment directly to more destinations, rather than adding a stop for sorting at a second domestic airport.”
The cold storage facility is just the first phase of a larger cargo transfer and storage facility at the airport.
“I am very pleased to report that the Department of Transportation is making critical investments in the State of Alaska,” said Young. “Our state is geographically unique, and Alaskans know how important it is to ensure that temperature-sensitive goods, foods, and other items can safely and effectively make their way to Alaska and our rural communities. In April, the Anchorage Airport was recorded as the busiest in the world, which makes reliable cold storage facilities even more important for the global movement of cargo. I am proud to have worked with Senators Murkowski and Sullivan in support of this project, and am grateful to the Department of Transportation and Secretary Chao for listening to us and making this significant investment in our state. As former Chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, I am acutely aware of Alaska’s infrastructure needs. In Congress, I will continue advocating so that Alaskans can utilize safe and reliable infrastructure for generations to come.”
“As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I’ve worked hard to secure funding to support the BUILD Grants program. The positive impacts it has had on Alaska over the years are significant. I join the rest of the Alaska Delegation in applauding today’s announcement and thank Secretary Chao for investing in the future of our state,” said Murkowski. “This new transfer facility will improve shipping capabilities, strengthen Alaska’s supply chain security, and provide much-needed jobs for Alaskans. With Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport having recently been recorded among the busiest in the world—this news could not be more timely.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us just how important it is for our country to have secure and reliable supply chains, and Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport has served as an indispensable link in these global chains for decades,” said Sullivan. “To better meet the needs of our nation and the expected demands of global commerce, this critical piece of infrastructure is due for a dramatic expansion in storage capacity, particularly the ability to store cold freight during all seasons. I thank Secretary Chao and the Transportation Department for recognizing the benefits of having TSAIA serve as more than a ‘gas and go’ hub, which will help us better secure America’s distribution networks and grow jobs and economic opportunities for Alaskans.”
In This Issue
Alaska Problems Require Alaska Solutions
On January 16, a fire destroyed the water plant and washeteria in the southwest Alaska village of Tuluksak. For the village of about 350 people, it was a devastating blow. The water plant was the only source of drinking water in the village, in which the primarily Yup’ik residents lack indoor plumbing and rely on honey buckets, not uncommon in the flat, swampy region.