March 14, 2022

Regarding the future of the legal ownership of Birchwood airport and the plan to make it a municipal airport there was a phone conference with AK-DOT Aviation Boss John Binder and his second-in-command Troy Larue. Aside from the board of the Birchwood Airport Association the meeting was attended by Eagle River area Senator Lora Reinbold and Representative Ken McCarthy and their respective staff members.
The main point of this meeting was an obvious display of Sen Reinbold’s and Rep Mc Carthy’s support for our cause in the face of AK-DOT officials… They both took a very active part in the meeting and voiced their concerns. Birchwood Airport Association critiqued the AK-DOT past and present handling of issues by the use of consultants and the negative out comes, such as for example the past re-paving that resulted in a reduced number of tiedowns even though the old Master Plan had called for an increase in the number of tiedowns etc. (also gave lots of other examples such as unusable spacing of tiedown hardpoints in the pavement etc).
Birchwood Airport Association has conducted member surveys that clearly show the vast majority of the users of the airport are opposed to a future on-site full time airport manager and other items that AK-DOT consultants claim are being desired “by Stakeholders”. The Birchwood Airport Association survey clearly shows the users of the airport want to keep the airport as is, and are clearly opposed to most of the proposed changes and so called “improvements”.
It was refreshing to hear AK-DOT ‘s admission of the fact that funding for such dramatic changes at the airport would have to be found and is very unlikely to become available: Nevertheless our question of why and by whom such changes are being pushed was basically left unanswered… – Some of the “development of the airport” is certainly demanded by consultants the City hired, and the City has already proposed an ever-growing bureaucracy by projecting a future “City department of airports” where 3 future municipal airports would be managed.
One thing is for certain: We need more members in the Birchwood Airport Association in order to be taken seriously by AK-DOT and the City of Anchorage Assembly

By Lars Gleitsmann President of BAA

This is why more people need to register on this website and also join and pay dues to be a member of BAA. Go to register page here