Juneau, Alaska (KINY) The Juneau International Airport provided over $173 million in economic impacts to the community according to a recent study.
The study found the airport provided 1,082 jobs in 2017. That included 687 jobs at the airport, 199 induced jobs and 196 indirect jobs in the community. Indirect jobs are jobs created by the airport as it purchases supplies or other items for its business. An induced job is a job that is created by employees of the airport spending their money.
Airport Manager Patty Wahto appeared by the Assembly Committee of the Whole to discuss the Airport Sustainability Master Plan. They have spent four meetings with Assembly members trying to inform them on what is happening at the airport. "They had great questions. I want to make sure they understand all the information and data out there because that way the public knows."
Dollars from the Federal Aviation Administration play a key role in the projects that are completed at the airport. Wahto said the federal funds are very variable from year to year. "A lot of the time it depends on how high a priority you have on your projects. The FAA is concerned from the center line of runway out. As you get further and further away, the dollars get questionable."
Wahto said Alaska does a good job following the funds that are available for airports in Washington.
She said the rate of passengers boarding planes in Juneau have increased by six percent since 2014. She said the economic impacts of the airport were under $100 million 15 years ago. "The impacts (today) have gone higher than predicted in earlier economic impact studies."
Wahto said they are doing a good job making sure the airport and runway are safe and maintaining the facilities they have.
The Assembly is expected to review over $19 million in proposed airport improvements at future meetings.