Atka Airport, on Atka Island in the Aleutian chain, was last improved in 1983. Since then, only routine maintenance has been completed, and the aircraft now in use require a larger facility to meet FAA safety standards. The Atka Airport improvement project will extend and resurface the runway in order to provide the residents with a safe, reliable facility to meet their transportation needs year-round.
Construction of the proposed improvements will:
- Lengthen and widen the runway and runway safety area
- Reconstruct the airport pavement
- Remove obstructions in the transitional and approach surfaces
- Widen the taxiway safety area
- Relocate the apron and aviation support areas behind the building restriction line
- Create a safe aircraft parking area
- Replace the deteriorated snow removal equipment building
- Replace the deteriorated medium intensity runway lighting
- Replace the wind-damaged wind direction indicator
Reorientation of the Atka Airport was needed to improve conditions that do not meet the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) standards and the State of Alaska’s established requirements for community airports. A short runway, deteriorated runway surface, airspace penetrations, inadequate separation distances, and extreme weather conditions combine to hinder safe operations at the airport. Atka experiences strong winds from all directions. There is no way to achieve 95% wind coverage with any orientation of a single runway, and the mountainous terrain makes a crosswind runway unfeasible. To improve operational tolerance to crosswinds, the runway will be widened to 100 feet instead the 75 feet called for in FAA’s standards for the design aircraft. PDC prepared the scoping report, airport layout plan, design, specifications, and cost estimates, and oversaw the preparation of the Environmental Assessment. During the planning stage, we evaluated the runway length, airspace, terrain constraints, and wind coverage to develop the proposed runway realignment and lengthening.