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Aleutian Airways gets FAA approval to begin service to Unalaska's Tom Madsen Airport

A Saab 2000 aircraft landed in Unalaska for the first time in three years.
Theo Greenly
A Saab 2000 aircraft landed in Unalaska for the first time in three years.

Aleutian Airways has been granted approval from the Federal Aviation Administration to start charter and scheduled air service to Unalaska. That’s according to a statement released by the new regional airline Wednesday morning.

The news comes just one week after the company ran a successful test flight of its Saab 2000 aircraft to Unalaska’s Tom Madsen airport.

General manager Brian Whilden said the flight was meant to show FAA officials that Aleutian Airways can operate successfully in the region. Last week’s flight on the Saab was the first time that type of aircraft had landed on the island since a fatal plane crash in 2019.

Now, after what the company called an “extensive and rigorous approval process,” the airline will offer chartered and scheduled air service to Unalaska. That comes nearly a year after representatives from the new regional airline had originally told KUCB that they would begin offering regular flights to the island.

“Our flight, maintenance, dispatch, safety, and engineering teams have worked tirelessly over the past year to develop policies and procedures that set a new standard for safe operations at Dutch Harbor,” President and CEO Wayne Heller said in the statement.

While charters will start immediately, the company says it will announce scheduled routes within the next two weeks.

Hailing from Southwest Washington, Maggie moved to Unalaska in 2019. She's dabbled in independent print journalism in Oregon and completed her Master of Arts in English Studies at Western Washington University — where she also taught Rhetoric and Composition courses.
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