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Denali Area Airport Planning Study

Denali Area Airport Planning Study logo

The State of Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities (DOT&PF) is conducting an aviation system planning study for airports serving the residents, visitors, agencies, and businesses of the Denali Borough. The DOT&PF is contracted with RESPEC Company, LLC (RESPEC; formerly PDC Engineers) to lead the consultant team, which includes DOWL, Uqaqti, Information Insights, Liebowitz-Horton, Dryden Industries, and Marshal Arts Design. We are Alaskans, planning for the future, together.

The Denali Area Airport Planning Study (DAAPS) is funded by an Airport Improvement Program (AIP) grant from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and conducted in accordance with FAA policies, procedures, and guidance for Aviation System Planning (AC 150/5070-7 Change 1). The purpose of airport system planning is to assess the public-use airports, determine if they meet the needs of the area, and recommend future airport infrastructure investment that aligns with federal priorities and state and local objectives. This dynamic process depends on active participation from all stakeholders to gather accurate information, identify issues, address concerns, document needs, and explore alternatives.

The FAA recommends the following elements for inclusion in the process:

  • Significant, inclusive, and meaningful collaboration with stakeholders throughout the process
  • Exploration of issues/concerns impacting aviation in the area
  • Inventory of the current system, assess existing conditions and constraints
  • Identification of air transportation needs and evaluation of system resiliency
  • Aviation and economic forecasts
  • Exploration of alternatives to the existing airport system
  • Recommendations for airport development, priorities, and funding strategies
  • Implementation plan and final report

Denali Airport Area Planning Study map

There are no foregone conclusions in the planning process. The data and stakeholder input inform the outcome. Recommendations can range from ‘do nothing’ to constructing a new airport, and anything in between.

The DOT&PF and the FAA embrace the importance of incorporating public and agency involvement throughout the planning process. Denali National Park and the surrounding area are state and national resources that attract visitors from nearby communities and around the world, playing a significant role in the local and state economies. The Denali Borough is also home to many year-round residents whose needs may differ from visitors, summer tourism businesses, and seasonal residents. The RESPEC team is working with government units, organizations, tribal entities, businesses, and a wide range of federal and state agencies to identify and include all stakeholders both within the Denali Borough and beyond. It is essential to the viability of this study that all stakeholders have a voice in the process.

Join us in planning for the future of aviation infrastructure in the Denali area. Click the buttons on the menubar to sign up for our stakeholder mailing list and take the kick-off survey to share your views or email our team directly at