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Here we go again: Expect more jet noise over Anchorage as runway repairs resume April 1

  • Author: Annie Zak
  • Updated: March 31
  • Published March 30

Boeing 747-400 large cargo freighter takes off to the East at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport on Thursday, March 28, 2019. The North-South runway at will be closed from April 1 until October for construction work on the runway. (Bill Roth / ADN)

Jet noise over Anchorage will soon return as Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport gets the second and final year of its runway renewal project underway.

The airport’s north-south runway will be closed for repairs starting Monday. As a result, the airport will have to use its east-west runways for all flights. Most arrivals will come in over the water to the west of Anchorage, but most departures will take off to the east, over the city. That means more noise in the city from jets that normally take off over water.

The jet noise this year will last longer than it did in 2018, when the runway closure ran from June to September. Work this year is set to last until October.

“We as the airport are going to do our best to mitigate the noise,” said airport manager Jim Szczesniak.

That will involve working with airlines on noise abatement procedures, including pilots pulling back on throttles when they are over the city, then going back to full power once they’re at a higher altitude, he said.

Departing and landing traffic at Ted Stevens International Airport
2018-2019 Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport runway construction schedule. (Alaska Department of Transportation)

The last time the runway was redone was 16 years ago, Szczesniak said, and it needs pavement repairs and electrical work. The project will also involve widening the runway to accommodate larger aircraft.

Work last year frustrated some Anchorage residents, keeping them up at night or rattling windows.

“Although atypical for Anchorage because normally the airport doesn’t impact the community, this is something most other communities” deal with, said Szczesniak, who used to work as operations supervisor for O’Hare International Airport and Midway International Airport in Chicago. “It’s unusual for Anchorage people.”

About 20 percent of the project was done last summer, and the other 80 percent of the work is set to be finished this year. Crews will work on the runway 24/7, Szczesniak said.

You can read more about the project on the state’s website.

Previous stories:

A UPS Boeing 747 freighter lands at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport on Thursday, March 28, 2019. (Bill Roth / ADN)
A Cathay Pacific Cargo Boeing 747 freighter prepares to depart Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport on Thursday, March 28, 2019. (Bill Roth / ADN)
A Cargolux Boeing 747 freighter takes off from Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport, the world’s fifth busiest air cargo airport, on Sunday, March 17, 2019. (Bill Roth / ADN)
A Cargolux Boeing 747 freighter made a refueling stop at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport on Thursday, March 28, 2019. (Bill Roth / ADN)
Heavy equipment is staged at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport on Thursday, March 28, 2019, in preparation for construction work being done on the north-south runway. (Bill Roth / ADN)
Airport manager Jim Szczesniak points out the widening of the north-south runway that was done during construction last summer at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport on Thursday, March 28, 2019. The remaining 80 percent of the runway will be widened from 150 feet to 200 feet during construction this summer. (Bill Roth / ADN)
Boing 747 freighters taxi at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport on Thursday, March 28, 2019. (Bill Roth / ADN)

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