Merrill Field

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Merrill Field
Airport type Public
Owner Municipality of Anchorage
Location Anchorage, Alaska
Elevation AMSL 137 ft / 42 m
Coordinates 61°12′49″N 149°50′40″W / 61.21361°N 149.84444°W / 61.21361; -149.84444Coordinates: 61°12′49″N 149°50′40″W / 61.21361°N 149.84444°W / 61.21361; -149.84444
Website [1]
MRI is located in Anchorage
Location of airport in Anchorage
Direction Length Surface
ft m
4/22 2,000 610 Gravel/Dirt
7/25 4,000 1,219 Asphalt
16/34 2,640 805 Asphalt
Statistics (2004)
Aircraft operations 191,550
Based aircraft 966

Merrill Field (IATA: MRIICAO: PAMRFAA LID: MRI)[2] is a public-use general aviation airport located one mile (1.6 km) east of downtown Anchorage in the U.S. state of Alaska. The airport is owned by Municipality of Anchorage.[1]

This was the first official airport in Anchorage when it opened in 1930. The airport is named for Russel Merrill, an Alaskan aviation pioneer. The first aviation beacon in the Territory of Alaska was located at Merrill Field and was dedicated on September 25, 1932 in Merrill's honor.

Merrill Field is home to the University of Alaska Anchorage's Aviation Technology Division, as well as two locally-owned flight schools, air taxi services, and fixed base operators. An extension of the Q Taxiway connects the airport to Alaska Regional Hospital for MEDEVAC operations.

A section of the airport is built over the closed Merrill Field Land Fill. This section requires slightly more maintenance due to settling and emissions.

The offices of the Alaska Dispatch, parent company of the Anchorage Daily News, are located on Merrill Field.[3]

Facilities and aircraft[edit]

Merrill Field covers 436 acres (176 ha, 1.76 km²) and has three runways:[1]

  • Runway 4/22: 2,000 x 60 ft (610 x 18 m), Surface: Gravel/Dirt
  • Runway 7/25: 4,000 x 100 ft (1,219 x 30 m), Surface: Asphalt
  • Runway 16/34: 2,640 x 75 ft (805 x 23 m), Surface: Asphalt

For 12-month period ending August 5, 2004, the airport had 191,550 aircraft operations, an average of 524 per day, 100% of which were general aviation. There are 966 aircraft based at this airport: 93% single engine, 5% multi-engine, 2% helicopters and <1% gliders.[1]


Merrill Field, located on the east end of 5th Avenue in Anchorage, Alaska, was the only airport serving Anchorage until 1951 when the introduction of ever larger and faster commercial aircraft required that an airfield with longer and heavier runways be built.

The airstrip is still in use today as the primary field for private wheel equipped aircraft in the warmer months and for ski equipped in the winter.


  1. ^ a b c d FAA Airport Master Record for MRI (Form 5010 PDF), effective 2007-03-15
  2. ^ Great Circle Mapper: MRI / PAMR - Anchorage, Alaska (Merrill Field)
  3. ^ Kelly, Brendan Joel. "The newsroom of Alaska's future? - With a new owner’s investment, an online Alaska newsmagazine gets ambitious". Anchorage Press. 

External links[edit]