With winter only a few months away, Bering Air wants its planes sheltered. The airline is constructing a new hangar at the Nome Airport to support its growing operations in Western Alaska.
Operating aircraft during an Alaska winter carries a steep maintenance cost.
“In the mornings, if aircraft aren’t kept inside, they need to be sprayed with a de-ice fluid to get all the frost and snow and ice and whatnot off of them. And that de-ice fluid is expensive. It’s time consuming to have to apply it and then wait for all the snow and ice to come off before we can depart on our flights,” Bering Air Vice President Russell Rowe said.
Parking aircraft in a heated hangar will allow Bering Air to skip those steps and get its planes in the air faster. In addition to the time and money saved in day-to-day operations, keeping the aircraft inside is better for them in the long term.
“It’s just a lot easier, you know, on the aircraft. You have less mechanical delays and whatnot when aircraft are kept inside as opposed to being outside when it’s twenty and thirty below in the winter,” Rowe said.
Once complete, the new hangar will be Bering Air’s largest. While Bering Air will primarily use the new hangar to store aircraft, it also plans on some cargo processing use.
“There’ll be a 130-by-40-foot section that is dedicated to cargo, mail, and freight receiving and processing,” Rowe said.
Alaska Commercial Development, a building contractor headquartered in Fairbanks, is erecting the building just north of the current Bering Air hangar at the Nome Airport. Bering Air plans to start using the new hangar in December.
Image at top: New Bering Air hangar under construction at Nome Airport. Photo by Sean Milligan.