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Valdez Airport Rehabilitation

We are working to rehabilitate the Valdez Airport, also known as Pioneer Field. The purpose of this project is to improve safety, extend the useful life of the airport, and help promote aviation commerce in the area. Improvements to the airport will include repaving the runway, taxiway, and apron, replacing airport lighting, replacing and extending the perimeter fence, designing drainage improvements, and expanding the existing apron area.

A map with an inset showing the location of the project area. The Valdez Airport is located on the northeast side of the Richardson Highway in southcentral Alaska along the coast of Price William Sound.
Figure 1. Ariel view of the Valdez Airport Rehabilitation project area.

Why are we making these improvements?

The existing airport runway, apron, and taxiway pavement were installed in 2003 and are at the end of their design life. Crack sealing is no longer an effective form of maintenance due to the extent of the pavement deterioration, so we plan to re-pave the runway.

Drainage improvements will help reduce ponding on and around the runway. This existing ponding can attract wildlife and create a safety hazard. These drainage improvements will also help ensure transformers for the new lighting system stay dry and ice-free.

Expanding the existing apron will support the community’s increased aviation commerce needs. Replacing and completing the perimeter fence is needed to meet the Federal Aviation Administration’s Part 139 security requirements.

Project Schedule

The project team is currently working on environmental documents and preparing for site visits in spring 2024. We will then begin working on preliminary design and expect to have the final design ready for construction bidding by late 2025. Construction on this project is expected to begin in 2026.

Standing water in a low-lying area with vegetation and mountains on one side and a gravel road on the other.
Figure 2. Ponding at the Valdez Airport.

This project is being developed in cooperation with the Federal Aviation Administration.