The State of Alaska to Stop Plowing the Klawock Airport Runway!! - P.O.W. Report

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

The State of Alaska to Stop Plowing the Klawock Airport Runway!!


Scott Van Valin the Owner and Director of Operations for Island Air Express writes the following (emphasis added):

Island Air Express was recently notified by the State of Alaska Department of Transportation Juneau office that the Klawock Airport will no longer be plowed by the DOT after 1:00 PM each day. The State told me that our only option after 1:00 PM is to call an after hours phone number and have the runway plowed at a cost to Island Air Express of $1000 per hour. This option is not financially viable to Island Air Express. The States decision to NOT plow the airport after 1:00 PM will drastically disrupt the service Island Air Express conducts to and from the Klawock Airport during the winter months and in turn it will drastically affect our reliable passenger, freight, & mail service to the communities & residents of Prince of Wales Island. The States decision will also cripple the already extensive wait time for medivac service off the island.

The flight cancelations caused by not plowing the runway after 1:00 PM will not only cause major travel disruptions, it will also cause a financial burden on the island residents traveling whom will now have the additional expense of hotels and meals at their departure city when flights are canceled because of the unplowed runway at Klawock Airport.

Amazingly I have found that there are quite a few people in the State offices still don’t realize the Klawock Airport is the ONLY airport serving eight communities located on the third largest island in the Unites States, an island encompassing over 2500 square miles. The Klawock airport also has close to two hundred medevac flights per year, many of these are conducted after 1:00 PM, and many during the hours of darkness. Island Air Express operates 12 scheduled flights per day at Klawock Airport between Ketchikan, Petersburg and Juneau. Of the 12 daily flights we operate 6 flights are operated AFTER the 1:00 PM plow cutoff time the state has recently established. Our last flight arrives from Juneau, Petersburg, & Ketchikan at 8:30 PM a full 7.5 hours after the last potential opportunity of plowing of the airport.

Please assist by making your voice heard so Island Air Express can continue providing reliable passenger, freight & mail transportation for Prince of Wales Island community through winter by contacting the State Department of Transportation Commissioner, the Governor’s Office, Senator Lisa Murkowski, Senator Dan Sullivan’s Office, or any other contact you feel will help get our winter plow services back to normal hours at the Klawock Airport. Winter is very near, and this problem needs to be resolved ASAP!

  • Bill Walker- Governor (907)465-3500
  • Marc Luiken- Commissioner of ADOT (907) 465-3900
  • John Binder- Deputy Commissioner of ADOT (907) 269-0730
  • Troy LaRue- Operations Manager Statewide Aviation (907) 269-0724
  • Jeremy Worrall- Airport Operations Superintendent (907) 451-5230
  • Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins POW District House of Representative:
  • Bert Stedman POW District Senator:

Thank you in advance for your help with this issue.

Scott Van Valin
Owner/ Director of Operations


POW Report asked Scott if there is a possibility for a private contractor to plow the airport runway and he replied that according to the ADOT there is too much liability involved and only the State is certified to do it.

The Original Letter from Scott Van Valin:

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