(JUNEAU, Alaska) – This week, the Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities (DOT&PF) received inquiries about closing state-owned harbor and seaplane facilities. The department recognizes community concerns related to the potential spread of the COVID-19 virus due to marine operator and passenger activity, and at the same time, the need for continued community access across the state.
At this time, all state-owned harbor facilities and seaplane bases across Alaska will remain open and fully operational. Harbors and seaplane bases are a critical lifeline across Alaska and provide essential access for life, health, commerce and safety. State-owned harbor facilities provide an important refuge for marine users in inclement weather or emergencies. DOT&PF continues to monitor conditions closely, and should situations warrant, we will coordinate any requests to close a seaplane base with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). As of today, the FAA is not ready to approve airport closures.
One thing we have learned is that things continue to change. This is especially true with marine and aviation activity. Unless superseded by state emergency orders, communities have emergency powers to manage safety during this pandemic. Community specific press releases, public notices, and information may be found at ready.alaska.gov/covid19.
The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities oversees 239 airports, 10 ferries serving 35 communities, more than 5,600 miles of highway and 776 public facilities throughout the state of Alaska. The mission of the department is to “Keep Alaska Moving through service and infrastructure.”
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