Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport remains busy despite pandemic

Published: Nov. 4, 2020 at 7:55 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Air traffic remains busy at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport even during COVID-19 as jets pass through the airport on route to deliver cargo around the world.

“We’ve noticed the traffic has been staying pretty stable here and increasing,” said Airport Manager Jim Szczesniak.

Nearly one million tons of cargo passed through the airport during the third quarter this year. That’s a 25% increase compared to the same time a year ago.

“Generally, we have our traffic that’s flying through here with machine parts, perishables, and pharmaceuticals,” Szczesniak said. “We’ve had this added increase in the PPE that’s needed to battle COVID.”

Around 2.5 million tons of cargo have touched down at the airport in 2020, marking a 13.6% increase over the first nine months of 2019.

“It cements that Anchorage is key to the logistical supply chain,” said Szczesniak.

Things look to remain busy for the rest of the year.

“We’ve got an additional Amazon flight that’s coming in for the holidays,” Szczesniak said. "That flight itself is going to be responsible for about 40 season jobs.

The airport has been one of the busiest airports in the U.S. for aircraft operations, the airport said in a release. In the first quarter of the year, the Anchorage airport was the 38th busiest and in the second quarter, the airport was third busiest for aircraft operations. In the third quarter, Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport is the nation’s eighth busiest airport.

The airport expects to break ground next year on more than $500 million of investments to increase cargo business. They include a cold storage hangar and expansion by FedEx and UPS.

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