Ted Stevens
Anchorage International Airport
Anchorage International Airport and Cook Inlet.jpg
Summary
Airport typePublic
OwnerState of Alaska DOT&PF
ServesAnchorage, Alaska, U.S.
Hub for
Elevation AMSL151 ft / 46 m
Coordinates61°10′27″N 149°59′54″W / 61.17417°N 149.99833°W / 61.17417; -149.99833Coordinates: 61°10′27″N 149°59′54″W / 61.17417°N 149.99833°W / 61.17417; -149.99833
Websiteancairport.com
Map
ANC is located in Anchorage
ANC
ANC
ANC is located in Alaska
ANC
ANC
Runways
Direction Length Surface
ft m
7R/25L 12,400 3,780 Asphalt/Concrete
15/33 10,865 3,312 Asphalt
7L/25R 10,600 3,231 Asphalt
Helipads
Number Length Surface
ft m
H1 100 30 Asphalt
Statistics
Aircraft operations (2016)261,961
Based aircraft (2017)109
Total passengers served (12 months ending Jan 2017)4.966 million
Cargo handled (12 months ending Jan 2017)1.989 billion lbs.

Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (IATA: ANC, ICAO: PANC, FAA LID: ANC)[3] is a major airport in the U.S. state of Alaska, located 5 miles (8 km) southwest of downtown Anchorage.[1] The airport is named for Ted Stevens, a U.S. senator from Alaska in office from 1968 to 2009. It is included in the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2017–2021, in which it is categorized as a medium-hub primary commercial service facility.[4]

History

Built in 1951, the airport was served in the 1950s by Alaska Airlines, Northwest Orient, Pacific Northern Airlines and Reeve Aleutian Airways, using aircraft ranging from Douglas DC-3s to Boeing 377s,[5] and was also a refueling stop for Canadian Pacific Air Lines service to the Far East (one such aircraft being involved in a 1951 disappearance). From 1955 to 2011, the eastern end of the airport's southernmost runway connected to the Kulis Air National Guard Base.

By the mid-1980s the airport's nickname was "Crossroads of the World". Anchorage was a common stopover for passengers flying between Europe and East Asia,[6] because airspace in China, Soviet Union and Eastern Bloc countries were off-limits and because the first generation of jets and widebody airliners did not have the range to fly non-stop across the Pacific Ocean. Carriers using Anchorage for this purpose included:

During the 1980s airport officials knew that the new Boeing 747-400, with longer range, would decrease stopovers. They did not expect that Mikhail Gorbachev's glasnost, during the end of the Cold War, would open Soviet airspace to flights, causing the decrease to occur sooner than planned. By 1988, 16 airline flights that had stopped in Anchorage—each bringing almost $80,000 in revenue to the state—instead flew nonstop over Siberia.[6]

Most scheduled passenger service from Anchorage to Europe and Asia ceased in the early 1990s. Korean Air continued to serve Anchorage 3 times a week on a yearly scheduled basis until March 2005 and reduced to 3 times a week for the summer season only in 2006. China Airlines, the last Asian carrier to serve Anchorage on a regular basis, used Anchorage as an intermediate stop on its Taipei-New York route until 2011, when it rerouted these flights to stop in Osaka.[15][16] While a few charter passenger aircraft still stop at Anchorage on flights between Asia and the eastern United States, scheduled cargo carriers – which benefit from more volume and thus shorter route segments – continue to use Anchorage frequently. Condor still uses the Frankfurt-Anchorage route on a Boeing 767.

In the 1990s, Alaska Airlines and Aeroflot operated services from Anchorage to several destinations in the Russian Far East, including Khabarovsk, Magadan, Petropavlovsk, Vladivostok and Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk.[17] Alaska Airlines pulled out of these markets in 1998 due to insufficient demand,[18] while the Aeroflot services were primarily intended as technical stops en route to Seattle and San Francisco and were cancelled once newer aircraft and nonstop flights became available. Reeve Aleutian Airways, Dalavia and MAVIAL Magadan Airlines also offered service between Anchorage and the Russian Far East at various times, catering to Kamchatka oil exploration and other niche markets.[19]

The airport was renamed in 2000 by the Alaska Legislature to honor then long-standing U.S. Senator Ted Stevens.[20] Stevens survived a crash at the airport in 1978 that also killed his then-wife.[21]

In October 2018, Alaska Governor Bill Walker and Heilongjiang Province Governor Wang Wentao announced plans to connect Anchorage and Harbin Taiping International Airport with year-round, nonstop flights as early as the summer of 2019.[22]

On November 30, 2018, the airport suffered minor damage and was temporarily closed following a magnitude 7.0 earthquake in the area.[23] In June 2019, American Airlines switched the Boeing 737-800 on their seasonal route to Phoenix with the Airbus A321neo making them the first and only airline as of July 2019 to use the A321neo at Anchorage.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the airport was briefly the busiest in the United States due to sustained volume of cargo flights through Alaska while passenger travel sharply decreased in other American airports.[24]

Passenger traffic

Alaska Airlines 737-900ER at the airport
Alaska Airlines 737-900ER at the airport

Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport's passenger traffic hovered around the five million mark between 1998 and 2008, apart from in 2002 when the airport suffered a 13% drop in traffic. Fairbanks and Juneau are the next busiest airports though neither managed more than half a million passengers in 2007. Anchorage traffic peaks in June, July and August when passenger numbers are twice as high as between October and April.[25] Most major U.S. passenger carriers serve ANC, with the majority of passenger flight operations by Alaska Airlines to and from Seattle (an average of 20 flights per day) and Fairbanks (5-7 flights per day).

Anchorage is also envisioned as a future connecting point for air traffic to the Russian Far East. During the summer season of 2008, there was one weekly flight to Russia by Vladivostok Air. Yakutia Airlines resumed summer seasonal service to Russia in 2012.[26] Many of Alaska's North Slope workers live either in Anchorage or elsewhere in the Lower 48 states and fly through the airport to their jobs in Prudhoe Bay.

As per Federal Aviation Administration records, the airport had 2,599,313 passenger boardings (enplanements) in calendar year 2008,[27] 2,282,666 enplanements in 2009, and 2,342,310 in 2010.[28]

International cargo hub

Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport is a major cargo hub. In 2020, it ranked as the United States' third-busiest airport and the world's fourth-busiest airport by cargo traffic. Cargo aircraft between China or Japan and the US prefer to have less fuel and more cargo and refuel on the way,[29] so the opening of Russian airspace had little effect on such flights' use of Anchorage.[6]

FedEx Express and UPS Airlines operate major hubs at Anchorage International for cargo heading to and from the Far East.[25] NWA Cargo used to operate a major hub at the airport until December 28, 2009 when it closed all operations for Northwest Cargo at all airports. FedEx Express is the airport's largest cargo facility and can handle as many as 13,400 packages per hour, employing more than 1,200 people and providing a full customs clearance system. United Parcel Service's hub handles about 5,000 parcels per hour. Both companies forecast a large growth in traffic over the next several years as trade with China and other Far East countries increases and plan to expand their Anchorage facilities comparatively.[citation needed] The United States Postal Service also operates a large sectional center facility (SCF) for the 995xx ZIP Codes. It processes mail and parcels headed to and from all Alaska cities.

The United States Department of Transportation allows Anchorage and other Alaskan airports to be used as a transfer point for cargo between different aircraft of the same foreign air carrier without applying for special permission, a privilege not available at airports in the contiguous US. In 2020, the airport applied for similar authority for passenger traffic, which would potentially allow foreign airlines to use Anchorage as a connecting hub for international passengers. A similar exemption was previously granted to airports in Puerto Rico.[30][31]

Facilities and aircraft

Runway layout at ANC
Runway layout at ANC

Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport covers an area of 4,608 acres (1,865 ha) at an elevation of 151 feet (46 m) above mean sea level. It has three runways: 7L/25R is 10,600 by 150 feet (3,231 x 46 m) with an asphalt surface; 7R/25L is 12,400 by 200 feet (3,780 x 61 m) with an asphalt/concrete surface; 15/33 is 10,865 by 200 feet (3,312 x 61 m) with an asphalt surface. The airport also has one asphalt helipad that is 100 by 100 feet (30 x 30 m).[1]

For the 12-month period ending April 30, 2019, the airport had 261,961 aircraft operations, an average of 718 per day: 38% scheduled commercial, 32% general aviation, 29% air taxi, and <1% military. At that time there were 109 aircraft based at this airport: 61% multi-engine, 14% helicopter, 15% jet, and 10% single-engine.[1]

The FAA projects operations to increase to 334,279 by 2030, or 918.882 operations per day.[32]

Terminals

The South Terminal (domestic) serves Air Canada, Alaska Airlines, Allegiant Air, American Airlines, Condor (Departures), Delta Air Lines, Frontier Airlines, Sun Country, and United Airlines. All regional intrastate carriers also use the South Terminal.

RavnAir's check-in counters at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport
RavnAir's check-in counters at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport

The South terminal contains three concourses: Concourse A, Concourse B, and Concourse C. The area of what is today Concourse C stood the original airport terminal constructed in the 1950s. A hexagonal satellite terminal was constructed across the main structure shortly afterward. In 1969, the terminal underwent a major expansion, forming what is today Concourse B - notable new features included a curved arrival/departure structure with an elevated departure ramp for vehicles. The sweeping structure was designed to connect with the existing hexagonal satellite, now the end of Concourse B. In 1985, Concourse A was added. In 2009, this portion of the South terminal received seismic and aesthetic upgrades.

Concourse C was completely rebuilt in 2004, design by McCool Carlson Green Architects, while Concourses A and B were built in 1985 and 1969 respectively and renovated in 2009.[33] Architects HNTB and RIM Architects performed the architectural work for A/B Concourse.[34] The south terminal also contains two L gates, numbered L1 and L2. These gates are outside security on the lower level and adjacent to Concourse A.

The North Terminal (international), designed by McCool Carlson Green Architects, serves Condor (Arrivals), Japan Airlines, Korean Air, Yakutia Airlines, all international seasonal charter flights, and military flights. In addition to these airlines, a few cargo airlines use the north side of the terminal for parking while their aircraft have small problems that need maintenance for a day or so. This terminal was built in 1982.[33]

Airlines and destinations

Roughly thirty-seven destinations are accessible from ANC via nonstop or direct flights, including destinations in 15 U.S. states and the countries of Canada, Germany, and Russia. U.S. mainline carriers operate a combination of seasonal service to the lower 48 states and Hawaii and year-round service to destinations in the Pacific Northwest and the American Southwest. Foreign carriers operate seasonal flights and seasonal charters to Canada, Asia, and Europe, the latter two sold as bundled services.[35] Due to its proximity to Russia, Anchorage is the only U.S. city outside of New York, Los Angeles, Miami, and Washington, D.C. to have non-stop flights to Russia, and is the only city to have flights to a city other than Moscow. These flights, along with all other non-stop flights between the U.S. and Russia, have been suspended due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Passenger

AirlinesDestinationsRefs
Air Canada Seasonal: Vancouver [36]
Alaska Airlines Adak, Bethel, Cordova, Deadhorse, Dillingham, Fairbanks, Juneau, King Salmon, Kodiak, Kotzebue, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Nome, Phoenix–Sky Harbor, Portland (OR), Seattle/Tacoma, Utqiagvik
Seasonal: Chicago–O'Hare, Denver, Honolulu,[37] Kahului, Kailua–Kona, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Salt Lake City (begins June 18, 2022),[38] San Francisco
[39]
American Airlines Seasonal: Chicago–O'Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth [40]
Condor Seasonal: Frankfurt [41]
Delta Air Lines Minneapolis/St. Paul, Salt Lake City, Seattle/Tacoma
Seasonal: Atlanta
[42]
Eurowings Discover Seasonal: Frankfurt (begins June 13, 2022)[43] [44]
Flair Airlines Seasonal: Vancouver (begins June 24, 2022)[45] [46]
Grant Aviation Kenai [47]
Ravn Alaska Aniak, Cold Bay, Homer, Kenai, Sand Point, St. Mary's, St. Paul, Unalakleet, Unalaska/Dutch Harbor, Valdez
Seasonal: King Salmon
[48]
Reeve Air Alaska Gulkana, McGrath [49]
Ryan Air Aniak, Unalakleet [50]
Sun Country Airlines Seasonal: Minneapolis/St. Paul [51]
United Airlines Denver
Seasonal: Chicago–O'Hare, Houston–Intercontinental, Los Angeles, Newark, San Francisco
[52]
Yakutia Airlines Seasonal: Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky (suspended)[53]

Cargo

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AirlinesDestinations
AirBridgeCargo Cincinnati, Hong Kong (all suspended)
Air China Cargo Beijing–Capital, Chicago–O'Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, New York–JFK, Shanghai–Pudong
Alaska Air Cargo[54] Adak, Barrow, Bethel, Cordova, Deadhorse, Dillingham, Juneau, Kodiak, Kotzebue, Nome, Seattle/Tacoma
Alaska Central Express Aniak, Bethel, Cold Bay, Cordova, Dillingham, Dutch Harbor/Unalaska, Iliamna, Juneau, King Salmon, Kodiak, Port Heiden, Sand Point, Sitka, St. George, St. Paul
Amazon Air Seattle/Tacoma[55]
Asiana Cargo Atlanta, Los Angeles, Miami, New York–JFK, Seoul–Incheon
Atlas Air  ???
Cargolux Hong Kong, Los Angeles, New York–JFK
Cathay Pacific Cargo Atlanta, Calgary, Chicago–O'Hare, Columbus–Rickenbacker, Dallas/Fort Worth, Guadalajara, Hong Kong, Houston–Intercontinental, Los Angeles, Mexico City, Miami, New York–JFK, San Francisco, Toronto–Pearson
China Airlines Cargo Atlanta, Chicago–O'Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston–Intercontinental, Osaka–Kansai, Los Angeles, Miami, New York–JFK, San Francisco, Taipei–Taoyuan
China Cargo Airlines Atlanta, Chicago–O'Hare, Shanghai–Pudong
China Southern Cargo Chicago–O'Hare, Guangzhou,[56] Shanghai–Pudong, Zhengzhou
DHL Aviation Charleston (SC),[57] Chicago–O'Hare,[58] Cincinnati, Hong Kong,[59] Huntsville,[60] Los Angeles, Miami, Nagoya–Centrair,[61] New York–JFK, Osaka–Kansai, Seoul–Incheon, Shanghai–Pudong,[62] Singapore, Tokyo–Narita[63]
Ethiopian Airlines Cargo Atlanta,[64] Addis Ababa, Jakarta–Soekarno-Hatta, Seoul–Incheon[64]
Etihad Cargo Columbus–Rickenbacker, Hanoi
EVA Air Cargo Atlanta, Chicago–O'Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, New York–JFK, Osaka–Kansai, Taipei–Taoyuan[65]
Everts Air Cargo Bethel, Dillingham, Emmonak, Galena, King Salmon, Kotzebue, Nome
FedEx Express Guam, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Indianapolis, Fort Worth/Alliance, Memphis, Newark, Oakland, Osaka–Kansai, Seattle/Tacoma, Seoul–Incheon, Shanghai–Pudong, Taipei–Taoyuan, Tokyo–Narita, Toronto–Pearson
FedEx Feeder Fairbanks, Homer, Juneau, Kenai, Kodiak, Sitka
Kalitta Air Chicago–O'Hare,[66] Hefei,[66] Hong Kong,[67] Los Angeles,[68] Seoul–Incheon,[68] Shanghai–Pudong[69]
Korean Air Cargo Chicago–O'Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, Guadalajara, Halifax, Miami, New York–JFK, Seoul–Incheon, Toronto–Pearson
Lynden Air Cargo Bethel, Kotzebue, Nome
National Airlines (N8) Chicago–O'Hare,[70] Fairfield, Fussa–Yokota, Los Angeles, Nagoya–Centrair, Shanghai–Pudong, Tulsa
Nippon Cargo Airlines Chicago–O'Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, New York–JFK, Tokyo–Narita
Northern Air Cargo Aniak, Barrow, Bethel, Deadhorse, Dillingham, Nome, Red Dog, Unalakleet
Polar Air Cargo Tokyo-Narita
Qantas Freight Chicago–O'Hare, New York–JFK, Shanghai–Pudong
Singapore Airlines Cargo Dallas/Fort Worth, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, Nanjing, Singapore, Xiamen
Sky Lease Cargo Changsha,[71] Chicago–O'Hare,[72] Miami,[72] Zhengzhou[72]
Suparna Airlines Chicago–O'Hare,[73] Nanjing,[74] Shanghai–Pudong,[75] Zhengzhou[73]
TransNorthern Aviation Kenai, Kodiak
UPS Airlines Chicago–Rockford, Hong Kong, Louisville, Newark, Ontario, Osaka–Kansai, Portland (OR), Seoul–Incheon, Seattle–Boeing, Shanghai–Pudong, Taipei–Taoyuan, Tokyo–Narita
Western Global Airlines Dallas/Fort Worth,[76] Los Angeles,[77] Louisville,[78] Seoul–Incheon,[79] Shanghai–Pudong[80]

Statistics

Annual passenger traffic at ANC airport. See source Wikidata query.
Carrier shares: (December 2020 - November 2021)[2]
Carrier   Passengers (arriving and departing)
Alaska
2,369,000(58.91%)
Delta
697,000(17.34%)
Horizon
264,000(6.56%)
United
239,000(5.95%)
American
166,000(4.13%)
Other
286,000(7.10%)

Top destinations

Busiest domestic routes from ANC (February 2021 – January 2022)[2]
Rank City Airport Passengers Carriers
1 Seattle/Tacoma, Washington Seattle–Tacoma International Airport 838,000 Alaska, Delta
2 Fairbanks, Alaska Fairbanks International Airport 145,000 Alaska, Ravn Alaska, United
3 Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota Minneapolis–Saint Paul International Airport 117,000 Alaska, Delta, Sun Country
4 Chicago, Illinois O'Hare International Airport 93,000 Alaska, American, United
5 Portland, Oregon Portland International Airport 75,000 Alaska
6 Denver, Colorado Denver International Airport 67,000 Alaska, Frontier, United
7 Kodiak, Alaska Kodiak Airport 64,000 Alaska, Ravn Alaska
8 Kenai, Alaska Kenai Municipal Airport 64,000 Grant Aviation, Ravn Alaska
9 Juneau, Alaska Juneau International Airport 60,000 Alaska
10 Bethel, Alaska Bethel Airport 59,000 Alaska

Ground transport

Inter-terminal

A shuttle bus runs approximately every 15 minutes between the North and South terminals and the employee and long-term parking lots. A land-side inter-terminal walkway was completed in 2009. Air-side connections between the sterile areas of each terminal are not available.

To/from airport

Route 40 of the Anchorage People Mover bus system serves the airport's North and South terminals every 15 minutes from 6:00am to 7:30pm on weekdays and every 30 minutes until 2:00am, as well as service every 30 minutes all day on Saturday and Sunday, connecting it with the downtown Transit Center.[81][82]

Taxi queues are available in front of each terminal. Courtesy vans and other ground transportation options pick up from designated areas in front of each terminal.[83]

Major national rental car chains are represented in an on-site consolidated rental car facility attached to the South terminal.[84]

There is a rail station for the Alaska Railroad. It is only available during the summer season for cruise ship service only. The depot opened in 2003, after funding was secured by United States Senator Ted Stevens, but commuter service never materialized.[85]

Renovations

Renovations began on the A and B concourses in fall 2006. These renovations are designed to bring the older portions into compliance with current seismic, heating, ventilation, electrical and safety codes, and also include new baggage handling systems and renovations to the interior of the concourses.[86] Since the completion of the construction, all domestic flights are operated out of the South Terminal.

Commissioned art pieces

The piece consists of nine towers of glass, collectively adding up to 42 meters (130  ft) of span and reaching to 8 meters (26 ft) at its highest point. The series of panels are inspired by Alaska's immensely rugged landscape of glaciers and mountains. The ambiguous images embedded within the sculpture address Alaska's continual balancing of the forces of technology with the vast powers of the natural world.

Programs

The airport features an innovative customer service program, which partners with most on-site (and some nearby) vendors and concessionaires and aims to promote a positive image of the airport and the State of Alaska in the minds of travelers. This volunteer, self-funded committee mystery shops at partnering companies and provides awards of cash, free covered parking, and donated prizes to winning employees.[88][89][90]

Accidents and incidents

Media appearances

The airport was the focus of a Smithsonian Channel miniseries Ice Airport Alaska that ran in late 2020. It has also been shown in the Discovery Channel series Deadliest Catch.

References

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