Gov. Dunleavy touts Anchorage airport as a bright spot of economic growth

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ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - The Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport has been a bright spot during the ongoing recession. Over the next few years, it is expected to attract nearly $600 million in new investment.

On Wednesday, Gov. Mike Dunleavy toured the airport with Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Transportation John Binder.

The tour across the airport visited Dale Shaw, the managing director for FedEx in Alaska and Hawaii. He said the company was planning a roughly $57 million new shipping facility.

It is slated to become the domestic operations center for FedEx, able to sort through roughly 6,000 pieces an hour.

“This is real economic activity,” said the governor, who also touted new investment on the North Slope and the long-running goal of seeing a railroad built from the Lower 48 to Alaska.

Binder described another cargo facility slated to be built nearby to FedEx. The company set to build and lease the building is not known, suspicions are that it may be Amazon after the company started flying into Anchorage earlier in the year.

Ken Maccabe, the owner of Pilot Freight Services, showed the group a cold storage warehouse and a tank system Maccabe is developing that could soon be used to export live crabs.

The North Terminal that sits largely unused apart from charter flights could soon be renovated. Officials at the airport have put out a request for interest to see if any companies may want to restore it to its former glory.

Binder said there were currently no estimates of how much a renovation of the terminal may cost.

In the back of everyone’s minds, the ongoing trade war with China. Mike Spillane, the Atlas/Polar Station Manager, said tariffs seemingly hasn’t impacted the business.

Shaw essentially said the same thing but the apparent consensus was that ending the dispute would be beneficial.

“We want this resolved sooner rather than later,” said the governor.

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