Bad weather, bumpy runway still hamper air traffic to Nome
Another round of flight cancellations has hampered travel and freight transport from Anchorage to Nome over the last weekend, due to the same conspiring factors of bad weather and frost heave issues on the main runway that restricted travelers last week.
According to Alaska Airlines spokesman Tim Thompson, on November 30, there were two passenger flights and one freighter flight cancellations due to weather. On the following day, on Dec. 1, both passenger flights were canceled due to weather. He added that the “Nome airport has a depression in the runway, which impacts our landing and takeoff performance, especially during the winter months. Additionally, there is a wind speed and direction restriction with the runway. These factors have led to cancelations,” he said.
If there are cancelations, he said, Alaska Airlines will work with the passengers to get them out on the next available flight.
DOT spokeswoman Caitlin Frye told the Nome Nugget that the DOT is working on temporary solutions to fix the runway. “Our maintenance crews are doing some test patches to test a potential runway repair for the winter,” she wrote in an email. “If all goes well, we hope we can starting making the temporary repairs to the affected runway later this week.”
“We did have a discussion with Alaska Airlines about the repairs we hope to make to keep them informed of our progress. We’re coordinating with them as we test and make these repairs to ensure we’re meeting their needs, and in turn the needs of the Nome community,” Frye stated.
Not impacting traffic to Nome, but elsewhere, a few flights were diverted due to the earthquake, but everything was running fairly normal within several hours of the quake, Frye said. “The Anchorage Airport only sustained minor damage and the terminal remained open,” she stated. “We know this has tough for a lot of people in Nome. We’re working hard to get this resolved as quickly as possible,” Frye said.