The Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities (DOT&PF) owns and maintains the existing airports in Nanwalek and Port Graham and has identified numerous safety deficiencies at both airports. The existing runways do not adequately accommodate the range of aircraft that currently use, or are anticipated to use, the runways. The short runway length restricts landing and takeoff, present safety issues, and the communities of Port Graham and Nanwalek are limited in their development due to the proximity of the airports to residential areas.
Construction of a new airport in a location beneficial to both communities would allow for development and expansion, as well as enhance safety through improvements such as a longer runway and a runway lighting system. Safety in aviation is paramount and as such, a new airport will better serve the local passenger, mail, freight, and medevac needs.
The development of a new, shared Nanwalek & Port Graham airport will improve air service for both communities and will include a new 3.5 mile long access road traversing the mountainous terrain that currently acts as a barrier between the two communities. The proposed airport and access road will link Nanwalek and Port Graham to the airport and to each other.
This project will:
- Design and construct a new airport at a location approximately three miles east of Nanwalek and one mile west of Port Graham
- Design and construct a new access road from both communities to the airport
- Design the runway to A-1 design standards for a Community Class airport in Alaska and install associated facilities
- Complete the work described in the Memorandum of Agreement with the State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO) for a historic trail
- Provide a utility conflict report, resolution, and design
- Appraise and acquire the right-of-way for the combined airport and airport access roads
- Decommission both existing airports
- Obtain final environmental permits for construction of the new airport and road.