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Airport: Award of Merit and Safety: Award of Merit

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Photos courtesy of Kiewit
Akutan Airport
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Built on the uninhabited island of Akun, the airport serves the native community located on the neighboring island of Akutan. Akutan is also home to Trident Seafoods, the largest seafood processing plant in North America; the plant draws up to 3,000 people during the summer work season. The team designed and constructed the airport, support buildings and hovercraft facilities—each located on different sites.

The airport includes a fuel storage and distribution area; a 4,500-ft paved runway with a 5,100-ft runway-safety area, taxiways and apron; a three-bay snow removal equipment building; a sand storage building; and a 3,000-ft access road.

Due to the remote location, meticulous planning was required to ensure on-time delivery of equipment, supplies and personnel. It could take more than a week for an employee to get to or from the island. Material for the pre-engineered steel structures was shipped in from Seattle to Dutch Harbor, Alaska, on barges. It was then loaded on a 150-ton landing craft for transportation to Akun, where it was unloaded and trucked to a staging location near the building pad.

The Akutan Airport experienced zero accidents during the 24-month life of the project. Pre-fabricated metal buildings were ordered to minimize elevated work and exposure to the strong winds on site.


Akutan Airport, Akun Island, Alaska

Key Players

Owner Alaska Dept. of Transportation and Public Facilities

Lead Design/Civil/Geotechnical Engineer PND Engineers

General Contractor Kiewit Infrastructure West Co.


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