Aug. 29, 2019

The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities recently published “The Economic Contribution of the Aviation Industry to Alaska’s Economy” report, which hails aviation, including business aviation, as “an essential transportation network for residents, visitors and access” in the state. The report updates a similar 2009 study and provides new figures on the impact the aviation industry has on Alaska’s economy.

The study’s findings reflect the central message of the No Plane No Gain advocacy campaign, which details the value of business aviation to citizens, companies and communities across the U.S., including Alaska. The campaign is jointly sponsored by NBAA and the General Aviation Manufacturers Association.

In 2017, the aviation industry supported more than 35,000 jobs in Alaska, which represents 7.8 percent of total state employment. Aviation also contributed more than $3.8 billion to the state economy, which includes an estimated $1.8 billion from the multiplier effect, where aviation spending generated economic activity in other sectors of the economy, similar to the industry’s value in other states.

Alaska is home to 394 public-use airports and 362 landing areas, which serve the state’s 8,030 pilots.

The report states that “aviation services are relied upon in Alaska to fulfill needs that elsewhere would be met by ground transportation. 82 percent of Alaska’s communities are not connected to the contiguous road system.”

General aviation also supports access to healthcare and medical services for Alaskan residents, especially those who live in remote parts of the state. “The highest rate of medically related air travel was in rural Alaska, as many communities do not have hospitals, clinics or medical services.”

Read the full Alaska economic impact report.