Aviation Advocacy

Recently Produced and now flying on SEAKAA internet resources and being utilized in public presentations, the Sitka Seaplane Base video was supported by several dozen donors, generous operators in the Sitka area. Produced and Edited by Gleb Mikhalev.

Seaplane Port-QuickTime H.264 from Gleb Mikhalev on Vimeo.

 

Current issue: Sitka Seaplane Base (A29)

At the February Sitka Assembly meeting a few SEAKAA members testified in Person’s to be Heard in support of Sitka Seaplane operations and facility support. While there wasn’t a specific agenda item concerning the facility in front of the Assembly we felt it important to continue to voice our concern over the possible closure of the only public facility in A29. It is also time for interested operators to speak up to our support and commitment to having a new facility constructed in Sitka. To date Assembly members have not heard from very many constituents on the matter and some are not certain there is a need for the City or the Harbor Department to commit resources and funding.
Some key points for written or public testimony:
  • As the only public seaplane facility in the City of Sitka, operators of straight float (non amphibious) planes are now left without a place to dock their aircraft. Access to Seaplane services is extremely valuable and necessary resource. As a vital mode of transportation here in Southeast Alaska it is a key way of accessing areas both populated and remote wilderness.
  • The original facility built 54 years ago and then updated 38 years ago has served a useful life beyond what it was designed for and its replacement is overdue.
  • The current facility when it was serviceable was seen by some owner/operators as a hazardous place to put their aircraft assets and is a part of the reason this facility visually remained vacant, however many of the available spaces to put aircraft was leased to tenants.
  • An FAA grant fund has been offered and could fund over 93% of a new facility development.
  • Closure of the current facility and a further delay in developing a new facility would greatly impair operations in and out of the Sitka Seaplane area including Alaska Department of Fish and Game survey and spotting flights, herring fishery spotting aircraft, remote fishing lodge flights, tour and charter operators from surrounding Southeast communities, and our few private owner operators.
  • A current survey by DOWL shows that there is significant demand for a public facility including several commercial operators, many transient needs and continuing support for commercial fishing operators including ADF&G.
  • It is estimated that a year round single pilot commercial operation can bring in as much as $1 million dollars in downstream revenue to Sitka’s economy.
  • Not having any floatplane facility for several seasons cannot be viewed as an acceptable alternative.