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Wed, Apr 05, 2023

Seaplane Pilots Association Revamps Website

Comprehensive Upgrades to Alaska Coverage

Alaska is vast. Vaster by far than any Discovery Channel camera lens or Princess Cruise brochure is capable of accurately relating. To comprehend Alaska’s vastness, one must travel its expanse, from Arigilivik Beach in the north to Dall Island in the south—which is just what the Seaplane Pilots Association (SPA) has done, virtually, anyway.

Currently, the (ironically) Winter Haven, Florida-based SPA is about the complex and consuming business of revamping its website to provide users the most accurate and current information pertaining to the nigh-incomprehensible entirety of the Last Frontier’s lakes, cabins, and amenities. Upon completion of the upgrade, the SPA’s website will chronicle the names and locations of every navigable body of fresh and saltwater in Alaska, as well as the facilities located upon the waters and shores thereof.

Seaplane Pilots Association executive director Steve McCaughey stated the SPA has set out to provide pictures of the facilities/services available on every last Alaskan lake, to include: cabin size, number of beds/type of sleeping facilities, kayaks, canoes, john-boat, fishing gear, firewood stock, and so on.

The project is veritable lightyears ahead of schedule, owing in great part to the efforts of Montana-based SPA member Tom Bass, who personally visited each location to be archived in organization’s website in his Cessna 185 floatplane, took notes and pictures of such, and uploaded the data to an interim website.

Funding for the project was graciously provided by private donors to which the SPA remains profoundly and protractedly grateful. As some time has passed since Mr. Bass last visited some of the locations, the SPA is verifying information previously provided for purpose of ensuring it is up to date. What’s more, the association has resolved to update its website’s data annually, thereby accounting for any changes to geography and available facilities and equipment.

The SPA Alaska Lake Adventures Team is diligently working to debut the updated site by 06 May 2023, the date of the Alaska Aviation Gathering in Palmer—a city of some 5,888 inhabitants located 33-nautical-miles northeast of Anchorage.

 Mr. McCaughey remarked: “… these cabins, if we don’t use them or they’re not being utilized, the state will shut them down.” The SPA is committed to encouraging more pilots to use the cabins—the extant slate of which was either provided by the state of Alaska or gifted by private owners. McCaughey added: “But in order to use them, they need to know what to expect before they head out into the middle of nowhere.”

In addition to its Alaskan enterprise, the SPA will imminently undertake a “threat of closure” assessment of seaplane bases around the U.S.—in particular, those private seaplane bases at higher risk of being shuttered. The SPA seeks to preserve such sites for the long-term enjoyment of the seaplane pilot and adventure communities.

Alaska’s Lake Hood—located a mere 0.7-nautical-miles from the geographical center of Anchorage’s Ted Stevens International Airport (ANC)—is the world’s largest seaplane base. The state-owned lake and seaplane facilities operate continuously, are open to the public, and see upwards of two-hundred seaplane operations daily.



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