This airport is considered the shortest runway in the USA used by US commuter airlines. The runway is 1850 feet, however the Department of Transportation has closed the first 1000 feet of Runway 19 making the usable runway only 850 feet.
A Cessna 206 belonging to Smokey Bay Air crashed near Nanwalek Airport on takeoff on December 15, 2011. The plane crashed into the sea about 100 ft (30 m) from the shore, and the four persons who had been on board swam to the shore. The crash is being investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board.