One of the world’s greatest civil engineering projects, the $8 billion Trans-Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS) carries crude oil 800 miles south from Prudhoe Bay on the Arctic Ocean to a pipeline terminus at Port Valdez. Built between 1975 and 1977, the pipeline at the time was the largest and most expensive privately funded construction project ever undertaken.
North Slope Borough, Alaska
Until the start of the new millennium, the business of monitoring helicopters as they flew over inhospitable expanses of land or water could be a haphazard affair, especially when the helicopter was out of radar or radio contact. Given the altitudes at which rotorcraft routinely fly, that accounts for a large proportion of airborne time and, as such, was something that many pilots preferred not to think about.
Investigators last month had yet to determine the cause of a December 26 fire that destroyed Frontier Flying Service’s hangar at Wiley Post-Will Rogers Memorial Airport in Barrow, Alaska. The blaze didn’t damage any airplanes and no one was injured, but the airline lost its two-story building and various ground-support equipment. At press time, insurance adjusters hadn’t finished calculating the dollar value of the damage.