What do airplanes mean for Alaska? In a word, everything.
In Alaska, 82 percent of communities are situated off of the state's road system. Without airplanes and pilots, many of these communities would be unreachable during winter months. And that means no emergency health care, no food or water deliveries, no winter fuel transport, no trips to Anchorage or Fairbanks.
The Alaska Division of Statewide Aviation produced this two-part series video that attempts to illustrate how important the aviation industry is to the 49th state. So doing, the state also offers a glimpse of what life would be like without airplanes, bush pilots, Era, Ryan Air, Alaska Airlines or the myriad other airlines that keep things moving up here.
Part one of the series was filmed on location in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, a region roughly the size of Oregon. The Y-K Delta is one of rural Alaska's most populated regions, home to Bethel, Alaska's second-busiest cargo airport, and encompasses 35 villages populated by nearly 25,000 Y'upik Eskmos. Hear first-hand what life in Southwest Alaska would be like without flight.