Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport unveils master plan for future airport development

The airport is now one of the busiest cargo hubs in the world and touts significant tourism growth
The airport is now one of the busiest cargo hubs in the world and touts significant tourism growth.
Published: May. 31, 2023 at 10:42 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport hosted a master plan update public open house on Wednesday evening at the Lakefront Hotel. The open house served as one of the airport’s public participation events that will be used to inform and gather feedback on the update.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, an airport master plan is a comprehensive study of an airport that considers the short, medium, and long-term needs for the airport’s infrastructure. They are typically done every five to seven years, but Anchorage’s airport says it’s been 10 years since the last master plan was adopted. Now, it is eyeing a new, updated plan to guide future development of the airport which is expected to be finalized at the end of next year.

“As the master plan team looks at the alternatives for development in the future, it’s an engagement with the community,” said Craig Campbell, the manager of the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport.

Project manager Evan Pfahler, who also worked on the last master plan in 2013, said they look at the big-picture when coming up with an update.

“To take a look into the future, understand the needs of the national air transportation system, how that might affect this particular airport and set in motion a vision for the future development of the airport in a responsible and conscious way,” Pfahler said.

The plan will establish a strategy for Airport Management and the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities, which say they are aiming to continue safe and efficient operations at the airport.

“With about a decade of change, it’s a really good time, we’re coming out of COVID so there’s a lot of growth and activity at the airport,” Pfahler said. “The way that people travel and the way that cargo has been growing in Anchorage, this is a great time to update the master plan and ensure that the facilities at the airport — the terminal, the cargo facilities — will work well for the next five, 10, and 20 years.”

The airport is now the third busiest cargo hub in the world and has seen significant tourism growth.

“Find ways to best accommodate growth as well as changes in the way that airplanes and the traveling public fly and operate,” Pfahler said. “So, we want to make sure that the infrastructure at the airport serves demand efficiently, safely, and does so in a responsible way.”

The airport wants engagement with the community; this is just the first of three public meetings.

“Please continue to participate in this public process, help us make the best possible airport for the state of Alaska,” Campbell said.

These meetings will give people an opportunity to meet the project team and learn more about the planning process for future projects at ANC.