It’s not every airport that lists wandering herds of caribou as one of its operational hazards, but then again, not every airport is located 600 miles north of the Arctic Circle like the evocatively named Deadhorse Airport in Prudhoe Bay, on Alaska’s Northern shore. In operation since 1970 to provide service to the largest oil field in North America, the airport–believed to have been named for an old trucking company rather than an equine carcass–has for the last two decades had its aviation fuel service provided by Colville Inc.
Alaska Airlines was the most fuel-efficient U.S. carrier for domestic operations in 2011 and 2012, according to a nonprofit organization’s analysis. Allegiant Air and American Airlines were the least fuel-efficient carriers during the survey period, the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) says in a study released on April 30.
Horizon Air plans to start serving communities in Alaska on March 3 with its latest tranche of Bombardier Q400s. The airline intends to use three Q400s, including the 51st in its fleet, to connect Anchorage with Fairbanks and Kodiak. Bombardier and Horizon Air celebrated delivery of the airline’s 51st Q400 during a ceremony in late January in Portland, Ore., where Horizon employees gathered with airline CEO Glenn Johnson and a delegation of manufacturer representatives from Canada. The aircraft bears a special “people-powered” livery that includes the signatures of Horizon Air employees.
World airlines collected $27 billion in revenue from products and services other than ticket sales last year, according to the latest annual report by research company IdeaWorks. The total came from data from 53 airlines that disclose ancillary revenue activity.
A 23-year-old male passenger aboard a May 27 Alaska Airlines flight from Anchorage to Portland attempted to open a mid-cabin emergency exit hatch on a Boeing 737 while the aircraft was beginning its initial descent to Portland. Passengers wrestled the man to the floor and subdued him until he could be handed over to police after landing. No one aboard the aircraft was injured. The Boeing’s hatch is designed so that cabin air pressure makes it unopenable in flight.
The Medallion Foundation is focused on changing the culture and attitude of commercial air operators and pilots flying in Alaska. The verdict? So far, so good. Fatal controlled flight into terrain (CFIT) accidents among commercial air carriers have been reduced 57 percent from 2000 to 2009, according to a paper recently released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.
Timothy Hershman, a Kona, Hawaii, resident, was indicted by a federal grand jury last week for falsely reporting a potential hijacking aboard an Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 en route to Seattle from Kona. Hershman called the FBI office in Honolulu January 17 and reported a hijacker might be aboard the aircraft, which caused the Oregon Air National Guard to scramble two F-16s to escort the aircraft to a safe arrival at Seattle, where the hoax was discovered.
Alaska Airlines has placed a firm order for 20 Boeing 737 MAX 8s, 17 MAX 9s and thirteen 737-900ERs, the Seattle-based airline and Boeing announced today. Worth $5 billion at list prices, the contract covers the largest order in Alaska Airlines’ history and raises the carrier’s firm order count for 737s to 75.
Alaska Airlines resumed some service beginning September 17, after voluntarily grounding its entire fleet of six Bombardier Dash 8s and six Beechcraft 1900s after company personnel realized that none of the fleet’s flight data recorders conformed to federal standards. The precise reason the airline’s flight data recorders did not meet standards was not made public.
The first U.S. airline to fully equip its fleet and train pilots for GPS-guided required navigation performance (RNP) procedures has already seen “a decent payback” on its investment. “We’re hooked,” said Bill Ayer, chairman of Alaska Airlines parent company Alaska Air Group. “We think this is great technology because it has provided tangible benefits of improving safety and reliability and real financial return.”
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