Thursday, July 25, 2013

Airport downgraded: Seward (PAWD), Alaska

Wolfgang Kurtz | The Seward Phoenix Log
 Runway 13/31 at the Seward Airport was shut down June 19 by its State of Alaska management due to flooding and concerns over the condition of the pavement. The runway has been reopened but is restricted to light planes which has resulted in loss of access to the airport by commercial flights including jet traffic as well as loss of business for airport vendors.

After closing the main runway at Seward Airport on June 19 due to flooding, the Alaska Department of Transportation reopened it on July 5 with significant restrictions. In making his report to Seward City Council on Monday, City Manager Jim Hunt noted that DOT reduced the aircraft weight limit to 12,500 pounds, resulting in the airport turning away traffic and business over the past few weeks amounting to more than $30,000.

Denny Hamilton, who operates the airport fuel service, reported losses to his business in excess of $20,000 due to the closing and subsequent downgrade of the runway. The airport lost the ability to field jet aircraft including five cancelled charters since the initial closing. Although the shifting channel of the Resurrection River threatens the embankment paralleling the runway and some overflow flooding occurs occasionally, the pavement itself appears unaffected.

Hunt said that the area’s state legislators were alerted to the situation and city administration will continue to follow up on the issue. 

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