Aviation Continues to Help Alaskan Economy

Latest Numbers Show Aviation Playing Bigger Economic Role

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by Mike Ford

According the latest numbers the Alaska Department of Labor says the air transportation industry is playing a bigger role in Alaska's economic growth .

While the lower 48 is well connected by a highway system over 80 percent of Alaska's communities are not accessible by road. State Economist Neil Fried says we are definitely unique."Over 300 communities who are not even connected by the road system and that of course is unheard of elsewhere in the country"

Thirty percent of the jobs in transportation in Alaska are aviation related compared with just over eleven percent down south. In 2010 twenty percent of all domestic mail shipped by air in the United States originated in Alaska, part of that is due to the bypass mail system which serves more than 125 rural communities in Northern, Western and Southwestern Alaska

Created by congress to help deliver mail it also helps fund passengers, food, medicine and other freight. "How many places do we move groceries in an airplane first of all in a jet and then second of all in a in a relatively small plane i don't think that happens in many other places in the country" said Fried.

The occupational forecast looks bright for aviation in Alaska although the turnover for jobs in this area are relatively low, workers leaving Alaska or others that will be retiring should create more than three hundred opening over the next decade. With every industry in Alaska touched by aviation outlook for steady employment will remain for at least the next decade.

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