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Fri, Nov 10, 2017

Alaska DOT Seeks Sponsor For Birchwood Airport

State Is In 'Preliminary Talks' With Eklutna, Inc.

The Alaska Department of Transportation (DOT) is reportedly in early talks with Eklutna, Inc., the largest private landowner in Anchorage, to become a sponsor of Birchwood Airport (PABV).

Television station KTUU reports that State DOT spokesperson Shannon McCarthy said that for now, the state is exploring the possibility of the company becoming an airport sponsor, which would need FAA approval. McCarthy said that any airports entity, nonprofit organization or government could ask to be an airport sponsor, "and that's what we're chatting with them about right now."

If the native corporation were to become a sponsor of the airport, it would assume management responsibilities currently held by the DOT, according to McCarthy. Those would include airport ownership, operations, lease negotiations and similar functions.

Eklutna CEO Curtis McQueen told the station that the talks began earlier this year, and the company said they would "consider" the idea. He said that the company owns land surrounding the airport and is supportive of infrastructure. Rumors circulating on social media that the airport could be sold are inaccurate, he said.

So far, the talks are largely informal. McCarthy said that the DOT will meet with the FAA in December to see if the change is even possible.

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