Record Air Cargo Numbers Continue in Third Quarter at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport
Nearly 1 million tons of cargo passed through Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (ANC) in the third quarter this year, a 25 percent increase in cargo tonnage compared to the same quarter of last year.
As of the end of September, 2.5 million tons of cargo has touched down at ANC this year, a 13.6 percent increase over the first nine months of 2019.
“The Anchorage International Airport is shining brighter now more than ever in Alaska’s economy,” says Governor Mike Dunleavy. “The airport has been critical to the fight against COVID-19, moving countless pieces of PPE and employing thousands of Alaskans during this unprecedented time.”
On April 6, Governor Dunleavy greeted a Samaritan’s Purse cargo plane carrying supplies critical to the coronavirus response destined for rural Alaska.
In the first quarter of 2020, ANC was the 38th busiest airport in the United States based on aircraft operations. By the second quarter, ANC had climbed to third. Strong cargo traffic continued in the third quarter, and ANC remained in the top ten as the eighth busiest airport.
“The pandemic has caused a significant shift in the air traffic mix. Nominal amounts of passenger aircraft are flying, displacing the cargo they once carried in their bellies. It has created considerable demand for freighter space to carry that cargo,” says ANC Airport Director Jim Szczesniak.
“This demand for moving cargo displaced by the decrease in passenger aircraft availability is further bolstered by a substantial increase in e-commerce as people across the globe have embraced online shopping throughout the pandemic. The shift in the movement of air cargo has highlighted ANC’s efficiencies and significance as the Center of the Air Cargo World.”
Amazon Air added a second daily flight to ANC to meet the increase of Alaskans shopping on the online marketplace during the holiday season.
The future looks bright for ANC, with more than $500 million of private cargo development and expansion projects on the horizon. Alaska Cargo & Cold Storage, 6A Aviation, FedEx, and UPS have all put forward plans for development or expansion at the world’s sixth busiest cargo airport.
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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.