The City of Akutan, located on Akutan Island in the eastern Aleutians, has released its Airport Local Area Plan (A-LAP). The City is isolated due to limited transportation connections. Currently the City is accessible only by boat or amphibious aircraft. The only commercial aircraft serving Akutan is the 65-year old amphibious Grumman Goose aircraft that accommodates a maximum of eight passengers and minimal freight per flight. The aircraft must use visual flight rules and land in the water of Akutan Bay. Flights are frequently canceled.
Purpose of the Plan
The purpose of this plan is to determine a future vision for the land surrounding the Airport that:
- Establishes a balance of the interest and needs of the area residents and businesses within the project boundaries.
- Guides development and improvements in the area while protecting the Airport from the development of incompatible land uses.
- Identifies the preferred locations and types of land uses without a specific identification or evaluation of the developments that will take place.
- Sets the stage for future development. Once the A-LAP is finalized, additional planning steps will take place in the community, and environmental and engineering evaluation will be required on a development-by-development basis.
The A-LAP was designed to support community values and advance the key strategic areas identified in the Community Plan. It presents a physical development concept in a map form enhanced with text descriptions of essential development attributes. The A-LAP reflects the community preferences identified through the public involvement process and supports the public health, safety and welfare. It is informed by FAA regulations for safety areas on the ground and in the air, best practices of airport land use compatibility, and the need for environmental and fiscal stewardship in order to make the best use of available resources. It also reflects the operational needs of private industry to support economic development. In short, the role of this A-LAP is to describe a future vision for the land surrounding the Airport site development that will:
- Protect the natural environment by recognizing sensitive environmental features
- Protect the Aleut culture and heritage and improve the quality of life for residents
- Balance the interests and needs of residents and businesses within the project boundaries
- Guide development patterns in a logical way to avoid land use conflicts
- Provide for an efficient provision of infrastructure and services
The A-LAP first describes where the City wants to go in the preferred future vision and then presents a strategy to get there. Because it is part of the City’s plan for an orderly and efficient development pattern around the Airport, the A-LAP supports the City’s annexation petition. Because this is part of a larger planning process, the A-LAP includes an implementation section that identifies future action items for implementation. As a planning document that is intended to become part of the Community Plan, the A-LAP will serve as a guide to the decision-making process for City staff, citizens, elected officials, planning commissioners, and private developers.