Regular Air Travel Still Suspended; No Further Road Closures Expected

Oct 19, 2019

A barge moves PenAir's Saab 2000 airplane that crashed in Unalaska on Thursday. The damaged plane was hoisted from the crash site by cranes on Saturday afternoon.
Credit Laura Kraegel/KUCB

The Aleutian Pribilof Islands Association (APIA) says mental health and counseling services are available to anyone affected by Thursday's plane crash in Unalaska. Call APIA at 581-2751 or 907-359-2743 to connect with providers and access those services.

Updated 10/21/19 at 4:50 p.m.

Commuter flights to and from Unalaska are still suspended, following last week's PenAir plane crash that killed one passenger and injured at least 11 others.

While flights were tentatively set to resume on Tuesday, airline officials said they're still working on a timeline to restart the route.

"In the interest of safety, Alaska Airlines and PenAir have temporarily suspended ANC-DUT-ANC operations following the PenAir Flight 3296 incident," said an Alaska Airlines statement on Monday afternoon. "Alaska and PenAir are working together to determine a timeline for resuming service to Unalaska, Alaska.

"Guests with tickets to or from Dutch Harbor purchased on or before Oct. 17 for travel through Oct. 28 may call Alaska Airlines at 1-888-885-0155 to request a full refund," the statement continued.

Meanwhile, city officials said they expect no further road closures as the damaged Saab 2000 has been moved away from the crash site and nearby roads.

"The disabled aircraft has now been moved from Resolve Marine on Ballyhoo Road to an area behind the Tom Madsen Airport runway," said a city statement on Monday afternoon. "Ballyhoo Road is fully open, and no further road closures are expected in relation to the PenAir crash landing.

"State Department of Transportation officials confirmed the runway has been open since 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 19," the statement continued. "Several cargo and charter flights have landed."

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

Updated 10/21/19 at 11 a.m.

After reopening the roads Saturday near the site of PenAir's plane crash, city officials have announced another short-term closure on Monday.

Officials said they are again planning to move the damaged Saab 2000 — which ran off Unalaska's runway on Thursday, killing one passenger and injuring at least 11 more — to a "more secure area." They declined to specify that area or how long it will be there.

"There will be intermittent road closure of Ballyhoo Road today," said a city statement on Monday morning. "Closure is expected to last from 11:15 a.m. till approximately 1:30 p.m. Motorists should expect delays in traffic."

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

Updated 10/19/19 at 6:00 p.m. 

The airplane that ran off Unalaska's runway on Thursday — killing one passenger and injuring at least 11 more — has been moved from the crash site, allowing nearby roads to reopen to regular traffic. 

The PenAir Saab 2000 was hoisted up from a rocky bank by cranes on Saturday afternoon and moved away by a barge. The operation was organized by local and state officials, National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigators, and salvage company Resolve Magone Marine.

Credit Laura Kraegel/KUCB
Credit Laura Kraegel/KUCB

City officials announced the reopening of Airport Beach, Ballyhoo, and East Point Roads just before 6 p.m.: "All lanes of traffic have opened at the three-way intersection near the airport."

Regular operations at the Port of Dutch Harbor are expected to resume as well, as closures had hampered vessel offloads and other shipping operations.

Credit Laura Kraegel/KUCB

"Local shippers have a plan to receive inbound freight, including groceries and supplies, for delivery within the community over the weekend," said city officials in a statement. 

While regular air travel is still suspended, city officials said it's tentatively scheduled to resume next week. The state Department of Transportation has determined the runway was not damaged in the crash.

"Alaska Airlines personnel have confirmed that their standard operations between Unalaska and Anchorage are suspended at least through Monday, Oct. 21, 2019," said officials. "The airline tentatively plans to resume normal operations as early as Tuesday, Oct. 22."

Alaska Airlines markets Unalaska's PenAir route. PenAir is also owned by Ravn Air Group. Officials said passengers should contact Alaska Airlines at 1-800-252-7522 regarding travel arrangements or visit the airport to speak with someone at the desk.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates. 

Credit Laura Kraegel/KUCB

Original Story -- -- -- 

Several National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigators have gathered at the site of Thursday night's PenAir plane crash in Unalaska.

NTSB is investigating the accident, which killed David Oltman, 38. Another passenger was medevaced to Anchorage with critical injuries, while at least 10 others required some level of medical attention.  

City officials said efforts are underway to move the damaged Saab 2000 on Saturday using a crane. 

"There will be intermittent closures and delays on Ballyhoo Road as the disabled aircraft as removed from the road and tideland area," said a city statement released Saturday around 1:10 p.m. "Please expect delays, be alert, and use extreme caution."

City officials also said "Alaska Airlines personnel have confirmed that their standard operations between Unalaska and Anchorage are suspended at least through Monday, Oct. 21, 2019. The airline tentatively plans to resume normal operations as early as Tuesday, Oct. 22."

Alaska Airlines markets Unalaska's PenAir route. PenAir is also owned by Ravn Air Group. City officials said passengers should contact Alaska Airlines at 1-800-252-7522 regarding travel arrangements or visit Unalaska's airport to speak with someone at the desk.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates. 

Investigators gather Saturday afternoon at the end of Unalaska's runway, where a PenAir Saab 2000 crashed on Thursday with 42 people onboard.
Credit Laura Kraegel/KUCB