Edward G. Pitka Sr. Airport

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Edward G. Pitka Sr. Airport

(former Galena Air Force Base)
Airport typePublic
OwnerState of Alaska DOT&PF – Northern Region
ServesGalena, Alaska
Elevation AMSL153 ft / 47 m
Coordinates64°44′10″N 156°56′15″W / 64.73611°N 156.93750°W / 64.73611; -156.93750Coordinates: 64°44′10″N 156°56′15″W / 64.73611°N 156.93750°W / 64.73611; -156.93750
GAL is located in Alaska
Location of airport in Alaska
Direction Length Surface
ft m
7/25 7,249 2,209 Asphalt/Concrete
6/24 2,786 849 Gravel Ski Strip
Statistics (2014)
Aircraft operations19,000
Based aircraft13
Galena Airport was used by the USAF 317th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron at Elmendorf AFB as a forward-deployed Base to intercept Soviet aircraft intruding on United States airspace over the Bering Sea. Depicted: Convair F-102 Delta Dagger, 1965.

Edward G. Pitka Sr. Airport (IATA: GAL, ICAO: PAGA, FAA LID: GAL) is a state-owned public-use airport located in Galena, a city in the Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area of the U.S. state of Alaska.[1]

As per Federal Aviation Administration records, the airport had 7,784 passenger boardings (enplanements) in calendar year 2008,[2] 7,447 enplanements in 2009, and 12,421 in 2010.[3] It is included in the National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2011–2015, which categorized it as a non-primary commercial service airport (between 2,500 and 10,000 enplanements per year) based on enplanements in 2008;[4] however, it qualifies as a primary commercial service airport based on enplanements in 2010.


As Galena Airport, it was used as a military transport base during World War II, facilitating the transit of lend-lease aircraft to the Soviet Union.

As Galena Air Force Station, it was used by the USAF during the Cold War as an interceptor base for aircraft patrolling the western areas of Alaska. It was downsized in 1993, but the military airfield is maintained by a private contractor as a weather/emergency diversion airfield since Regular Air Force fighter-interceptor alert operations ended.[5] It is now known as Galena Forward Operating Location.[citation needed]

Facilities and aircraft[edit]

Edward G. Pitka Sr Airport covers an area of 1,250 acres (506 ha) at an elevation of 153 feet (47 m) above mean sea level. It has two runways: 7/25 is 7,249 by 150 feet (2,209 x 46 m) with an asphalt and concrete surface; 6/24 is 2,786 by 80 feet (849 x 24 m) with a gravel ski strip surface.[1]

The airport also sports a ski-jump takeoff ramp at one end and provisions for arresting gear (see picture, ski jump at 07 end) at the other, a leftover from the Cold War years as Galena Air Force Base, as tactical aircraft required more landing and takeoff space than was available on the runway.

For the 12-month period ending May 23, 2009, the airport had 19,000 aircraft operations, an average of 52 per day: 68% general aviation, 16% scheduled commercial, 11% military, and 5% air taxi. At that time there were 13 aircraft based at this airport: 77% single-engine, 8% multi-engine, and 15% ultralight.[1]

Airlines and destinations[edit]


Everts Air Fairbanks[6]
Wright Air Service Fairbanks, Koyukuk, Nulato[7]

Prior to its bankruptcy and cessation of all operations, Ravn Alaska served the airport from multiple locations.

Top destinations[edit]

Busiest domestic routes out of GAL
(Dec. 2015 – Nov. 2016)[8]
Rank City Passengers Carriers
1 Fairbanks, AK 7,050 Ravn Alaska
2 Nulato, AK 1,170 Ravn Alaska
3 Kaltag, AK 920 Ravn Alaska, Wright
4 Huslia, AK 270 Ravn Alaska
5 Koyukuk, AK 210 Ravn Alaska
6 Ruby, AK 110 Ravn Alaska

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d FAA Airport Form 5010 for GAL PDF. Federal Aviation Administration. effective May 31, 2012.
  2. ^ "Enplanements for CY 2008" (PDF, 1.0 MB). CY 2008 Passenger Boarding and All-Cargo Data. Federal Aviation Administration. December 18, 2009.
  3. ^ "Enplanements for CY 2010" (PDF, 189 KB). CY 2010 Passenger Boarding and All-Cargo Data. Federal Aviation Administration. October 4, 2011.
  4. ^ "2011–2015 NPIAS Report, Appendix A" (PDF). National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems. Federal Aviation Administration. October 4, 2010. Archived from the original (PDF, 2.03 MB) on September 27, 2012.
  5. ^ Public Domain This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website http://www.afhra.af.mil/.
  6. ^ "Passenger Schedules". Retrieved December 20, 2020.
  7. ^ "Timetable" (PDF). Wright Air Service. Retrieved December 20, 2020.
  8. ^ http://www.transtats.bts.gov/airports.asp?pn=1&Airport=GAL&Airport_Name=Galena,%20AK:%20Galena%20Airport&carrier=FACTS

External links[edit]