Sitka Rocky Gutierrez Airport

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Sitka Rocky Gutierrez Airport
Airport type Public
Owner State of Alaska DOT&PF
Serves Sitka, Alaska
Location Japonski Island
Elevation AMSL 26 ft / 8 m
Coordinates 57°02′50″N 135°21′42″W / 57.04722°N 135.36167°W / 57.04722; -135.36167Coordinates: 57°02′50″N 135°21′42″W / 57.04722°N 135.36167°W / 57.04722; -135.36167
SIT is located in Alaska
Location of airport in Alaska
Direction Length Surface
ft m
11/29 6,500 1,981 Asphalt
Statistics (2011)
Aircraft operations 23,100
Based aircraft 30

Sitka Rocky Gutierrez Airport (IATA: SITICAO: PASIFAA LID: SIT) is a state owned, public use airport located west of the central business district of Sitka, a city and borough in the U.S. state of Alaska that has no direct road access to the outside world.[1]

The airport is named after Sitka's former mayor Rocky Gutierrez. It features a single terminal with jetway with air service operated year round by Alaska Airlines and seasonally by Delta Air Lines regional affiliate Delta Connection operated by SkyWest Airlines. There is a single paved runway located on a causeway that juts off Japonski Island. Deceased tuberculosis patients from the nearby SEARHC/Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital were buried on airport grounds and had to be relocated during construction. That section of the airport is still unofficially called The Mausoleum.

As per Federal Aviation Administration records, the airport had 68,197 passenger boardings (enplanements) in calendar year 2008,[2] 62,498 enplanements in 2009, and 64,536 in 2010.[3] It is included in the National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2011–2015, which categorized it as a primary commercial service airport (more than 10,000 enplanements per year).[4]

Facilities and aircraft[edit]

Sitka Rocky Gutierrez Airport resides at elevation of 26 feet (8 m) above mean sea level. It has one runway designated 11/29 with an asphalt surface measuring 6,500 by 150 feet (1,981 x 46 m).[1]

For the 12-month period ending January 2, 2011, the airport had 23,100 aircraft operations, an average of 63 per day: 43% air taxi, 43% general aviation, 8% scheduled commercial, and 6% military. At that time there were 30 aircraft based at this airport: 70% single-engine, 13% ultralight, 10% military, and 7% multi-engine.[1]

The airport also has hangars and offices for local air traffic control, the Civil Air Patrol, and various private enterprises. U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Sitka also has a complex attached to the airport for their helicopters but their rotary-wing aircraft based in Sitka seldom use the runway for takeoffs and landings.

Safety hazards include boulders from the causeway washing onto the runway during storms, high winds because of its exposed location, and large flocks of birds that live very close to the airport. Due to these hazards, the airport is listed by as one of the ten most thrilling landing experiences in the world. There was a one time special flight direct from Moscow operated by Aeroflot, a Russian airline, into the airport with an Ilyushin Il-96 wide body jetliner[5]

Historical airline service[edit]

Alaska Airlines has served Sitka for nearly 50 years. In 1967, Alaska Air was operating Boeing 727-100 jet service into the airport on a round trip routing of Seattle - Sitka - Anchorage - Unalakleet - Nome - Kotzebue and was also flying Convair 240 propliner service nonstop to Juneau.[6] By 1969, Alaska Air had added several stops on the route between Seattle and Alaska, and was operating a Boeing 727-100 jetliner on a round trip routing of Seattle - Sitka - Juneau - Yakutat - Cordova - Anchorage - Unalakleet - Nome - Kotzebue in addition to operating Convair 240 service on a round trip routing of Annette Island Airport - Wrangell - Petersburg - Sitka - Juneau.[7] Over the years, Alaska Air also operated Boeing 727-200 and 737-200 jets into the airport before switching to later model Boeing 737 jetliners.[8] In 1986, Anchorage-based AirPac was operating jet service into the airport with a British Aerospace BAe 146-100 aircraft flying a round trip routing of Seattle - Sitka - Anchorage.[9]

Airline and destinations[edit]

The following airlines operate scheduled passenger service into the airport:

Airlines Destinations
Alaska Airlines Juneau, Ketchikan, Seattle/Tacoma
Delta Connection
operated by SkyWest Airlines
Seasonal: Seattle/Tacoma

Alaska Airlines operates Boeing 737-400 and 737-800 jetliners while Delta Connection operated by SkyWest flies Canadair CRJ-700 regional jets into the airport.[10] In addition to providing passenger service, Alaska Airlines also operates Boeing 737-400 all-cargo jet freighter flights into the airport.[11]

Top destinations[edit]

Busiest domestic routes out of SIT
(Dec 2013 - Nov 2014) [12]
Rank City Passengers Carriers
1 Seattle/Tacoma, WA 32,000 Alaska
2 Juneau, AK 21,000 Alaska
3 Anchorage, AK 15,000 Alaska
4 Ketchikan, AK 3,000 Alaska

Media appearances[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d FAA Airport Master Record for SIT (Form 5010 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.  External link in |work= (help)
  3. ^ "Enplanements for CY 2010" (PDF, 189 KB). CY 2010 Passenger Boarding and All-Cargo Data. Federal Aviation Administration. October 4, 2011.  External link in |work= (help)
  4. ^ "2011–2015 NPIAS Report, Appendix A" (PDF, 2.03 MB). National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems. Federal Aviation Administration. October 4, 2010.  External link in |work= (help)
  5. ^ . "Sitka Airport Big Thriller?". Sitka Sentinel (Sitka, Alaska: Vestovia Corp.). July 1, 2011. Retrieved July 4, 2011.  (subscription required)
  6. ^, June 1, 1967 Alaska Airlines timetable
  7. ^, June 1, 1969 Alaska Airlines system timetable
  8. ^ "Alaska Airlines" by Bob & Nancy Hollenbeck,
  9. ^, April 1, 1986 AirPac system timetable route map
  10. ^, Sitka Rocky Gutierrez Airport flight tracker
  11. ^, Freighter and Combi Schedule
  12. ^,%20AK:%20Sitka%20Harbor%20Sea%20Plane%20Base&carrier=FACTS

External links[edit]