Wasilla airport users are facing a potential fee increase

WASILLA, Alaska (KTUU) – Registered users of the Wasilla Airport could see their monthly fees increase in the near future after the city’s Department of Public Works – led by the Airport Advisory Commission (AAC) – made a decision. resolution Recommends price increases for hangar rentals, aircraft tying, and temporary parking.

The move comes after the city of Wasilla paid $122,065 to reduce operating costs in 2022 and $133,450 the previous year. According to commission chairman James Grogan, the airport is running in the red and an increase is long overdue.

“We haven’t raised our taxes in 20 years, so we have to get taxes up to where they need to be,” Grogan said.

Fees charged to customers help offset operating costs, which totaled $266,000 last year, on revenue of just $143,935.

The proposed increase would cost users an additional 4 cents to rent a garage, $5-$25 per parking lot, and would double daily temporary parking costs, which are currently set at $5 per day. The increase would generate approximately an additional $71,000 in revenue annually.

A breakdown of current toll rates compared to what Wasilla Public Works recommends.(AKNS)

Several customers attended the March 16 regular ACC meeting to speak during the public comment period, most of whom opposed the measure.

“You don’t have a demand problem, it’s a supply problem,” one customer told the commission during the meeting.

All 155 tie-down seats at the airport are currently rented, and an additional number of aircraft owners sit on a waiting list to get a seat when it becomes available. The number of attendees confirmed that more of the revenue burden must be borne by the city, which has yet to develop additional land adjacent to the airport. The real estate broker, who is also a certified flight instructor, argued that the city could potentially force developers to pick up the cost of building infrastructure because demand is so high.

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according to Public notice As a result of public works on March 3, city officials are “working to complete projects in St General plan of the airport to develop the Wasilla airport.’

“If we can expand it beyond 6,000 feet, we can start making bigger planes. Go up the slope and get all that business, freight, you name it — the tech teams come out here, too,” Grogan said. “We just want to build the airport and make it really financially feasible and a huge asset to Wasilla.”

Grogan said the airport has enough land to support the expansion and that it could offer airspace relief to Anchorage while also serving as a safety net for an area that has only one road option to the state’s largest city.

In a public notice, the Department of Public Works also pointed to the possibility of Federal Aviation Administration infrastructure funding, which is more likely to be approved if the airport can achieve operational self-sufficiency.

The commission approved the resolution, but will need approval from the Wassil City Council before it can take effect. The resolution will be read in the form of an information memorandum at the next session of the City Council.

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