Alaska is unique in its almost total dependence on general aviation. According to the 2009 Economic Contribution of the Aviation Industry to Alaska’s Economy study, for 169 Alaska communities, air travel is the only means of getting in or out of the area due to lack of roads or ferry services.
According to the Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities, there are 400 public-use general aviation airports across the state, and 82% of Alaska’s communities are not connected to the road system. The Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities owns and operates 242 airports statewide, and these facilities are home to 9,346 active general aviation aircraft. According to the FAA, Alaska is home to 7,998 pilots.
According to the PricewaterhouseCoopers study, Contribution of General Aviation to the US Economy in 2013, general aviation in Alaska supports 5,800 jobs and $366 million in labor income.
According to the same study, general aviation in Alaska contributes over $1.1 billion to the state’s total economic output.
According to the FAA, Alaska is home to 45 repair stations, 4 FAA-approved pilot schools, 1,546 student pilots and 1,418 flight instructors. The AC-U-KWIK database has 51 fixed-base operators registered in Alaska. According to Helicopter Association International, there are 53 heliports in the state.
According to the University Aviation Association, there is a flight department at the University of Alaska – Anchorage.