Unalaska Fliers Stranded After Missed Inspection Of FAA Beacon

Feb 7, 2018

Credit Pipa Escalante/KUCB

Updated 2/8/18 at 12:30 p.m. 

Unalaska is facing its third day of flight cancellations.

On Tuesday, the problem was weather. But since then, the trouble has stemmed from a navigational beacon at the airport.

"For whatever reason, that piece of equipment expired before it was re-certified," said Missy Roberts of PenAir, Unalaska’s only carrier with flights to and from Anchorage.

Roberts said the airline won’t fly until the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) completes a missed inspection of its non-directional radio beacon, which helps planes navigate to the island safely.

The FAA hasn’t answered KUCB's calls for comment, but Roberts said Thursday that inspectors are waiting in Anchorage for fog to lift.

They’re exempt from any federal government shutdown. So once the weather clears up, she said they’ll fly to Unalaska in their own plane to examine the beacon. 

"As soon as that equipment is back up and running, we are ready to roll," she said.

For now, more than 100 passengers are stranded in Unalaska and Anchorage. Flights will resume Friday at the earliest.