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State Takes Over Adak Airport

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 15, 2004 No. 04-008

State Takes Over Adak Airport

(Juneau) --The State of Alaska signed an agreement today with The Aleut Corporation to take over airport operations on Adak Island in the Aleutian Chain.

The airport transfer agreement is the final step in the land transfer between the federal government and The Aleut Corporation. The land transfer will convey part of the land of the Naval Air Station at Adak to The Aleut Corporation for other Native land interests.

As part of the land transfer agreement between the federal government and The Aleut Corporation the state will receive $10 million from the Navy to help underwrite airport operations on Adak.

Adak's airport is one of the largest and most sophisticated airports in the Aleutian Islands. Built by the Navy for Naval air transport, the airport is a world-class facility worth millions of dollars, consisting of a 7,800 foot runway and a 7,600 foot runway, equipped with an Instrument Landing System and Glide Slope which facilitate Instrument Flight Rules landings. Adak currently has scheduled jet service provided by Alaska Airlines.

"Reliable and efficient air transportation is important for community operations on Adak," Governor Frank H. Murkowski said today. "Adak's airport is of vital importance to development throughout the Aleutian Islands - and it's especially important to the Aleutian region and to aviation in the North Pacific."

According to Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities Commissioner Mike Barton, the future development of Adak and the Aleutian region depends on good air transportation. "With appropriate transportation on Adak, private investment has the opportunity to flourish in the region," Murkowski said.

The military first developed an air station on Adak during WWII. Adak was most recently run by the Navy, until a mid-1990 decision by the federal government to cease operations there under the military's Base Realignment and Closure Program (BRAC). That decision made the land at Adak eligible for transfer back to The Aleut Corporation. The military will remain on Adak, however, as part of its environmental monitoring and cleanup program.

Dave Jensen, CEO of The Aleut Corporation said, "With this transaction, future support of military and commercial activity in the region is assured and we are very pleased to work with the state in opening up these new business opportunities."

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Hooper Bay Disaster
In other news: Governor Frank Murkowski and his Chief of Staff Jim Clark walked the burn site in Hooper Bay with local police and coordinators. The Governor's visit reflected his commitment to respond to this disaster and provide immediate relief and assurance to this village of some 1,100 Alaskans. Full story >



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