City of Unalaska

Unalaska has declared a local emergency over the community's lack of commercial air service.

The City Council approved the 21-day declaration at a special meeting on Tuesday — almost two weeks after Ravn Air Group suspended the island's regular flights to and from Anchorage in the wake of a fatal plane crash.

KUCB Staff

In the aftermath of this month's fatal plane crash, Unalaskans held a community meeting on Friday to voice their concerns about the island's air travel — specifically, its safety, reliability, and affordability. 

Laura Kraegel/KUCB

Unalaska may declare a state of emergency following a fatal plane crash on the island this month.

City officials took up the idea after Ravn Air Group announced that it would not resume regular flights until early November — and that even afterwards, it would fly smaller, slower planes indefinitely.

Laura Kraegel/KUCB

The Unalaska City Council has called a special meeting Friday "regarding commercial flights servicing Unalaska."

Following last week's fatal plane crash that killed one passenger and injured more than a dozen others, Ravn airline officials announced Thursday that regular flights won't resume until the week of Nov. 4.

Nat Herz/Alaska Public Media

Through last week, U.S. commercial airlines — distinct from the smaller bush planes that carry Alaskans to rural villages — had gone a full decade with just one paying passenger dying in an accident.

That changed last Thursday when a PenAir flight with 42 people crashed off the end of the runway in Unalaska, killing David Oltman, 38, of Wenatchee, Washington.

Now, the family that founded PenAir is raising questions about the safety standards of the new owners that bought the company out of bankruptcy last year.