ISSUE # 1 - Why do King Cove residents need better transportation access?
So they have a greater probability of accessing the Cold Bay Airport, which is their access point to the outside world. The community’s airstrip is located in a very precarious location between two mountain peaks with almost-constant weather being a traveling factor (i.e. wind or fog or winter white-outs). On an annual basis, scheduled flights in and out of King Cove occur about 60-70% of the time. This is not satisfactory for a community of 750 residents, particularly when life safety and medical needs are considered.

Why are King Cove’s access problems different than most other “bush” Alaska communities access problems?

Simply stated, our transportation access problem can be solved! For a variety of reasons, transportation access in many “bush” Alaska communities is a problem. However, King Cove’s access problems can largely be eliminated with improved and more predictable access to the Cold Bay Airport. World War II prompted the construction of one of the largest and most accessible airports in Alaska at Cold Bay with the construction of a 10,000’+ main runway and a 6,500’ crosswind runway. The Cold Bay Airport is approximately 25 surface miles north of King Cove.

How has the community dealt with this access problem over time?

Before airplanes, risky marine transportation alternatives (open dories) between these two places (i.e Cold Bay was not really a community prior to WW11) was possible, as was the occasional non-motorized trek between these two points. Over the last 30-40 years, motorized fishing vessels began to exist in King Cove. Time and time again, and weather permitting, local resident’s fishing vessels will make the 2-3 hour trip between the two communities. However, this is hardly ever predictable, and many times unreliable during urgent medical and life safety needs.

Why, after decades of trying to seek a solution to this problem, are we still persevering to help solve this problem?

Because predicable, dependable, and safe transportation access in and out of King Cove is essential for our sustainable future. It’s about our quality-of-life. It’s about the ability to come and go from our home and families and emergency needs on our terms, schedules, and conditions – considerations that most other American citizens NEVER need to worry about.
© 2012 Izembek Enhancement.org

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