$77 Million Airport In Remote Alaska
Alaska is famous for securing largesse in the form of taxpayer money. But this on takes the cake. In a very remote location in Alaska, 77 million of your tax dollars are building an airport. The airport is located on Akun Island, an uninhabited island in the Aleutian Island chain between the Pacific Ocean and the Bering Sea. It is being built to serve the village of Akutan, AK, population less than 100 permanent residents, that is located six miles away. Current plans call for a $13 million hovercraft to take passengers to and from the airport that is located on Akun Island, not on Akutan Island where the village is located. But, local officials say, that solution may not work. They say that they may need a helicopter.
A BHT-130 hovercraft, is proposed for transportation between Akun and Akutan. It is designed to carry 50 passengers, half of the residents of Akutan. It is capable of up to 60 knots, and can go over waves up to 10 feet high.
For information about the airport, please watch this 4:22 video.
For the location of Akutan, AK, look at this Google map, key "Akutan AK" in the location box, click on the magnifying glass box, then click on the minus button (-) until you get a proper perspective of its location.
But wait - this story gets even better. The proposed hovercraft is the same BHT-130 model used by the towns of Cold Bay and King Cove, located on an island about 100 miles (160 km) east of Akutan Island. The existing hovercraft was supposed to provide access between King Cove and Cold Bay, which has a paved airstrip, and can provide medical evacuation services. A press release by the Aleutians East Borough, in which Akutan, Cold Bay, and King Cove are located, said, "The commercial hovercraft, owned and operated by the Aleutians East Borough, is temporarily out of service. The Borough winterized (and suspended operation of) the craft last fall due to its unreliability during the winter months, low ridership and huge operating expenses. The Borough hopes to resume service at some point this spring." But the service resumption did not occur. As of mid-September, 2010, the hovercraft remained out of service.
Perhaps this is what President Barack Obama meant when he said he wanted to get Americans back to work.But that's just my opinion.