Fairbanks International Airport

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Fairbanks International Airport
FAI aeronexus logo JAN2014.jpg
Fai aerial map.jpg
Airport type Public
Owner State of Alaska DOT&PF
Serves Fairbanks, Alaska
Hub for Frontier Flying Service,
Warbelow's Air Ventures,
Wright Air Service
Elevation AMSL 439 ft / 134 m
Coordinates 64°48′54″N 147°51′23″W / 64.81500°N 147.85639°W / 64.81500; -147.85639Coordinates: 64°48′54″N 147°51′23″W / 64.81500°N 147.85639°W / 64.81500; -147.85639
Website www.fai.alaska.gov
FAI is located in Alaska
Location of airport in Alaska
Direction Length Surface
ft m
2L/20R 11,800 3,597 Asphalt
2R/20L 6,501 1,981 Asphalt
2/20 2,900 884 Gravel/Ski Strip
2W/20W 5,400 1,646 Water/Winter Ski Strip
Statistics (2012)
Aircraft operations 119,898
Based aircraft 541

Fairbanks International Airport (IATA: FAIICAO: PAFAFAA LID: FAI) is a state-owned public-use airport located three miles (5 km) southwest of the central business district of Fairbanks, a city in the Fairbanks North Star Borough of the U.S. state of Alaska.[1]

The airport serves many cargo airlines as a convenient refueling stop for some aircraft on trans-polar routes.[dated info] FAI is served by a limited number of passenger airlines. Ravn Alaska and Alaska Airlines serve the airport year-round, while Delta Air Lines and recently United Airlines serve FAI during the summer.[2] Fairbanks is the smallest city in the United States with non-stop service to Europe, as Condor Airlines offers weekly flights to Frankfurt during the summer tourist season.[3]

On October 11, 2009, the airport constructed a new terminal and demolished the old terminal which was built in 1948. The new terminal is built around the modern TSA standards. In addition to architectural design and better security, the main terminal now has six jet-bridges (up from the former five).[3] The 2,700m2 of custom unitised curtain wall was designed and supplied by Overgaard Ltd. Hong Kong. The special design incorporated double low-e triple glazing. The new building's footprint is smaller than the old building, and it no longer has the museum exhibits in the lobby.


The airport opened in 1951 and took over existing scheduled airline traffic to Fairbanks, which had previously used Ladd Army Airfield.[4] Alaska Airlines used Fairbanks as its main hub in the 1950s, with service to Seattle and Portland as well as intrastate service to Anchorage, Nome and other destinations.[5] By 1967, however, the airline shifted its Alaska hub to Anchorage; its Anchorage-Fairbanks service continues to this day.[6] In the mid-1970s, following the development of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, Alaska Airlines and Braniff International offered "interchange service" between Fairbanks and Houston via Anchorage, Seattle and Dallas.[7] In 1982, following airline deregulation, Alaska Airlines and American Airlines began a similar interchange service using Boeing 727s.[8]

Pan American World Airways had also served Fairbanks since 1932. The station was originally opened after the acquisition of Pacific International Airways and used for short-haul services to Juneau, Seattle, Ketchikan, Whitehorse and other destinations.[9] Pan Am intended to use Fairbanks as a stop for service to Asia as early as 1931, but initial difficulty in negotiating landing rights with the Soviet Union, followed by the outbreak of World War II, delayed these plans until decades later. Pan Am service to Fairbanks continued through the opening of FAI until 1965, when the Civil Aeronautics Board terminated Pan Am's rights to serve Alaska.[10]

Pan Am eventually used Fairbanks as a stopover for transpacific service from New York and Seattle to Tokyo starting in September 1969.[11] In 1974, Pan Am agreed to transfer its Fairbanks-Seattle service to Western Airlines, and requested that the CAB allow its New York-Tokyo service to be suspended from April 1975.[12] Other carriers such as Japan Airlines and Korean Air began to use Fairbanks as a technical stop for transpacific cargo flights in the late 1970s.[4]

Facilities and aircraft[edit]

Fairbanks International Airport covers an area of 3,470 acres (1,404 ha) at an elevation of 439 feet (134 m) above mean sea level. It has four runways:[1]

  • Runway 2L/20R: 11,800 by 150 feet (3,597 x 46 m), Surface: Asphalt
  • Runway 2R/20L: 6,501 by 100 feet (1,981 x 30 m), Surface: Asphalt
  • Runway 2/20: 2,900 by 75 feet (884 x 23 m), Surface: Gravel/Ski Strip
  • Runway 2W/20W: 5,400 by 100 feet (1,646 x 30 m), Surface: Water/Winter Ski Strip

For the 12-month period ending January 1, 2010, the airport had 133,267 aircraft operations, an average of 365 per day: 68% general aviation, 18% air taxi, 13% scheduled commercial, and 2% military. At that time there were 382 aircraft based at this airport: 83% single-engine, 17% multi-engine, and <1% helicopter.[1]

Terminal building[edit]

Outside the FAI terminal building.
Fairbanks International Airport terminal

The terminal building, situated on the southwest side of the airport, contains seven gates: two for commuter carriers and five for larger carriers.

Passenger airlines and destinations[edit]

The airport's control tower, located on the East Ramp.
Fairbanks International Airport just after take off on board of Alaska Airlines 737-700
Flight medic flight from Fairbanks International Airport to Anchorage International Airport
Alaska Airlines at Fairbanks International Airport

The following airlines offer scheduled passenger service:

Airlines Destinations
Air North Seasonal: Dawson City, Old Crow
Alaska Airlines Anchorage, Barrow, Deadhorse/Prudhoe Bay, Seattle/Tacoma
Alaska Airlines
operated by Horizon Air
China Airlines Seasonal Charter: Taipei-Taoyuan (begins December 4, 2015)[14][15]
Condor Seasonal: Frankfurt
Delta Air Lines Seattle/Tacoma
Seasonal: Minneapolis/St. Paul
Ravn Alaska Anchorage, Barrow, Galena, Kotzebue, Deadhorse/Prudhoe Bay
Everts Air Arctic Village, Beaver, Eagle, Fort Yukon, Venetie
40-Mile Air Delta, Healy Lake, Tok[16]
Frontier Flying Service Anchorage, Barter Island/Kaktovik, Fort Yukon, Galena, Kotzebue, Nome, Ruby, Tanana
Japan Airlines Seasonal Charter: Nagoya-Centrair, Osaka-Kansai, Tokyo-Narita
United Airlines Seasonal: Chicago-O'Hare,[17] Denver
Warbelow's Air Ventures Bettles, Central, Eagle, Fort Yukon, Rampart, Shungnak, Stevens Village, Tanana[18]
Wright Air Service Allakaket, Anaktuvuk Pass, Bettles, Birch Creek, Coldfoot, Fort Yukon, Tanana[19]
Seasonal: Arctic Village[citation needed]

Top destinations[edit]

Top ten busiest domestic routes out of FAI
(Dec 2013 – Nov 2014)[20]
Rank City Passengers Carriers
1 Anchorage, AK 194,000 Alaska, Era Alaska
2 Seattle, WA 147,000 Alaska, Delta
3 Minneapolis/St Paul, MN 21,000 Delta
4 Portland (OR) 10,000 Alaska
5 Chicago-O'Hare, IL 9,000 United
6 Galena, AK 8,000 Arctic Circle, Era Alaska
6 Denver, CO 8,000 United
8 Deadhorse, AK 6,000 Alaska, Era Alaska, Frontier Flying
8 Fort Yukon, AK 6,000 Arctic Circle, Frontier Flying, Wright
10 Barrow, AK 5,000 Alaska

Cargo airlines[edit]

Charter airlines[edit]


Climate data recorded at Fairbanks International Airport in Fairbanks, Alaska:

Climate data for Fairbanks International Airport, Fairbanks, Alaska
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 50
Average high °F (°C) 1
Average low °F (°C) −17
Record low °F (°C) −66
Average precipitation inches (mm) 0.58
Source: [21]

Accidents and incidents[edit]

In September 2013 there were two incidents of vehicular trespass onto its taxiway and runways, by users unknowingly following Apple Map's errant directions to Fairbanks International Airport. The directions indicated access to the Main Terminal via Taxiway B, which connects the East Ramp to the passenger terminal on the West Ramp. No one were injured nor were any flights were delayed. The Airport has since complained to Apple Inc, through the local attorney office and erected barricades along the final stretch of the runway to prevent future occurrences.[22]


  1. ^ a b c d FAA Airport Master Record for FAI (Form 5010 PDF). Federal Aviation Administration. Effective August 25, 2011.
  2. ^ http://www.alaskapublic.org/2012/02/01/united-airlines-to-fly-into-fairbanks-this-summer/
  3. ^ a b International Transportation Fact Sheet, State of Alaska Governor's Office of International Trade
  4. ^ a b http://dot.alaska.gov/faiiap/history.shtml
  5. ^ 1953 route map
  6. ^ 1967 route map
  7. ^ 1975 route map
  8. ^ http://www.aa.com/i18n/amrcorp/corporateInformation/facts/history.jsp
  9. ^ https://news.google.com/newspapers?id=6YRUAAAAIBAJ&sjid=MI8DAAAAIBAJ&pg=5757%2C5583123
  10. ^ http://www.sitnews.us/Kiffer/PanAm/122906_Pan_Am_Airways.html
  11. ^ 1969 advertisement; Pan Am route map, 1972; Pan Am route map, 1973
  12. ^ https://news.google.com/newspapers?id=nqNVAAAAIBAJ&sjid=ldkDAAAAIBAJ&pg=5112%2C3245004
  13. ^ http://www.ktva.com/home/outbound-xml-feeds/Alaska-Air-to-Serve-Fairbanks-Mostly-with-Turboprop-Aircraft-210242321.html
  14. ^ http://www.routesonline.com/news/29/breaking-news/249770/china-airlines-adds-taipei-fairbanks-charter-in-dec-2015/
  15. ^ http://airlineroute.net/2015/07/03/ci-tpefai-dec15/
  16. ^ "2011 Schedule and Prices". 40-Mile Air. Retrieved October 15, 2011. 
  17. ^ http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/united-announces-new-international-and-domestic-routes-from-hub-cities-184101611.html
  18. ^ Summer 2014 Schedule, warbelows, http://www.warbelows.com/scheduledservice/
  19. ^ http://www.wrightair.net/
  20. ^ http://www.transtats.bts.gov/airports.asp?pn=1&Airport=FAI&Airport_Name=Fairbanks,%20AK:%20Fairbanks%20International&carrier=FACTS
  21. ^ "weather.com". Retrieved November 15, 2011. 
  22. ^ "Apple Maps flaw results in drivers crossing airport runway". BBC News. September 25, 2013. 

External links[edit]

Fairbanks International Airport, looking north