Extremists Place Alaska’s Air Transport Under Attack for Climate Impact

Extremists Place Alaska’s Air Transport Under Attack for Climate Impact

October 25, 2021

For Alaskans, air travel is an integral part of life.  The ability to fly – whether commercially or via private aircraft – is the ability to traverse the vastness of our great state. More Alaskans per-capita own private pilot licenses than any other state’s residents, and it seems as though everyone knows someone with a private plane.

Alaska’s location in the far north requires air travel for those looking to leave the state for the rest of the US or the world.  With no direct railways between the Continental US, and only one road out through Canada connecting the state to the rest of North America, Alaskans take to the air for business and pleasure with regularity.

Our geography also gives us an incredible advantage in cargo routes between Asia, Europe and the US. Anchorage’s Ted Stevens International Airport was the fourth-busiest cargo airport in the world in 2020, and FedEx and United Parcel Service (UPS) both have cargo hubs on the premises.  For the communities off of the minimal road system, the only ways to get food and other necessities into their villages are barge service and via numerous carriers of cargo-only or mixed-use aircraft.

So when eco-activists claim that air travel – and its next-to-nothing (3.5%) global impact on the “existential threat” of climate change – needs to be overhauled, or even eliminated and replaced by rail or other transportation methods, Alaskans should be loud and strong in our push-back.

Even if air travel could be made more ‘green’ over the next few decades, the cost to replace today’s planes and jets would make ownership and ridership exceptionally more expensive.

And that’s not going to work for a state like ours, with so much riding (pun intended) on having air travel and transport readily available.