FAIRBANKS, AK: As part of the tenth Arctic Council Ministerial Meeting in Fairbanks on May 10-11, 2017, a series of workshops were conducted to highlight arctic opportunities and challenges. On Thursday, May 11, the Arctic Interchange hosted a panel discussion addressing aerospace opportunities in Alaska and the Arctic. Chaired by Dr. Bob McCoy, PhD, Director of the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) Geophysical Institute and Chair of the Alaska Aerospace Corporation (AAC) Board of Directors, the aerospace panel focused on the unique accomplishments of the two rocket ranges, downlink data capabilities, unmanned aircraft testing in the Pan Pacific UAS Test Range Complex, and international experimentation in the upper atmosphere and ionosphere done in Alaska and the opportunities for greater international collaboration.
“Alaska is a global leader in aerospace, offering some unique attributes that allow companies and governments to accomplish both testing and operational objectives from some of the most advanced facilities in the world” stated Dr. McCoy. “With the Arctic Council meeting being held here in Fairbanks, we are highlighting these capabilities to a broader market that shares some of the same climatic and geographical aspects as Alaska.”
The forum gave both Alaskan and foreign aerospace professionals a solid understanding of Alaska’s capabilities and dispelled misconceptions that Alaska’s climate and geography precluded the ability to conduct aerospace activities from the state. Craig E. Campbell, AAC President and Chief Executive Officer, presented a comprehensive overview of Alaskan launch capabilities, highlighting the many unique advantages Alaska provides that cannot be replicated in any other location in the United States.
“As the nation’s only high latitude, non-federal, full service spaceport, the Pacific Spaceport Complex – Alaska (PSCA), located on Kodiak Island, offers America an unrestricted ability to launch high inclination missions without the overflight of land” said Campbell. “This is a distinct advantage that has attracted both government and commercial customers to PSCA and is a primary reason why the emerging commercial small rocket industry is committed to launching satellites from Alaska. The opportunity to share this Alaskan capability with a global Arctic focused audience opens the potential for providing our services to a larger worldwide market.” he concluded.
Alaska Aerospace is a state-owned corporation established to develop a high-technology aerospace industry in Alaska. Its corporate headquarters is in Anchorage Alaska with a regional office in Huntsville Alabama.