Click Here
Monday April 21 2014
Juneau: 37°F
Now in Digital HD on Ch. 5.1!
Juneau International Airport opens new facilities
Published: 05/26/2011 03:36:54
The Juneau International Airport has recently undergone a major expansion, adding more space and green energy to the facility. Construction has been going on for 2 years at a cost of about $20,000,000. Half of that money came from part of a voter approved sales tax. The rest came from passenger facility charges that are part of airline tickets and an energy grant from the State for a geothermal project. The new areas were officially opened at a ceremony last Saturday.

Jeannie Johnson is the airport manager, she told us about the expansion project: "It brings a more modern look, a more functional airport for the community and our travelers to use. Before when we had one kind of crowded little exit door to get out of down in baggage claim, we now have three. And we've doubled the size of the baggage belt, so that it makes it just flow better. The upstairs we've added a new community room, and we've remodeled the departure lounge. And [the building has] gone to geothermal heat."

The geothermal system came online at the end of March, and the airport expects to save about $80,000 annually in heating costs.

Catherine Fritz is the architect at the airport, she explained the geothermal system. "The geothermal system takes heat from the ground, heat that's a natural part of the earth, and transfers that heat into a fluid that runs through tubing. Each heat pump is capable of heating, cooling, and ventilation. So rather than an old centralized system that has a single source of heat; we actually are generating heating or cooling in 29 different locations. Each heat pump in effect does the heating and cooling and ventilation for one small area of the building."

And there are many new areas to the building, including a rentable community room, space for a food vendor inside security, an upgraded Alaska Airlines check-in area, and a new brighter, larger arrivals hall.

By: Mikko Wilson -