The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (DOT&PF) in cooperation with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is working to rehabilitate the Brevig Mission Airport. Improvements to the airport include resurfacing the runways, apron, taxiway, and access roads, stabilizing the embankments, and replacing the airport lighting, rotating beacon, and lighted wind cone.
The purpose of this project is to improve the safety and extend useful life of the Brevig Mission Airport by restoring the airport’s condition and incorporating designs to decrease any future damage caused by thawing permafrost. The airport’s problems will continue to worsen if improvements are not made. This project will improve airport safety and performance, while reducing maintenance costs.
Figure 1: Crosswind Runway showing typical substantial cracking and ponding.
The Brevig Mission Airport was last upgraded in 1997. Over the last nearly 30 years, the surfacing has worn off the taxiway, apron, and airport access road, resulting in uneven surfaces. As the permafrost has begun to thaw, large thaw ponds have developed (see above image) at the toe of the embankments. This has caused further damage to airport surfaces, with substantial cracks being prevalent within the safety areas and encroaching on the runway itself. Many of the runway lights have been damaged or are missing, creating hazards when flying into the airport during periods of low visibility. The airport’s rotating beacon and lighted wind cone are also nearing the end of their usable lives. Maintenance has become more difficult and expensive as the condition of the airport worsens. This project aims to fix these issues.
Work on this project includes:
This project is being constructed in cooperation with the FAA and contractor, Tumet Industries. Construction began in fall of 2022 with Phase 1 – draining the thaw ponds and constructing the first lift of the expanded embankment. Material was hauled from the local material site. Phase 2 is beginning spring 2023 to construct the remainder of the embankment. In summer 2023, the contractor will work on Phase 3 – resurfacing and lighting of airport surfaces. Construction is targeted to be complete in fall of 2023, with the completion of Phase 4 – applying a dust palliative on the operational surfaces to reduce dust pollution in the community.