The airport’s name was changed to Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport July 8, 2000 following legislation introduced by Senator Tim Kelly and Representative John Cowdery. Together, the pair introduced Senate Bill 291 and House Bill 434 respectively.
Congress approves $13,000,000 to fund two “international type” airports in Anchorage and Fairbanks. Anchorage soon constructs an 8,400-foot east/west runway and a 5,000-foot north/south runway. 1951 Airfield operations begin in December.
The 1950s marked an American aviation milestone with the 1953 opening of Anchorage International Airport, destined to become the “Air Crossroads of the World.” In the early fifties, the Anchorage Airport was essential to Alaska with an estimated 90% of Alaska’s passenger traffic and 65% of its mail transported by Anchorage-based airlines.
Construction of the first terminal for Anchorage International Airport begins.
A ceremony officially opens the first Airport terminal.
Europe to Asia “over the pole” commercial traffic begins to transit Anchorage.
On January 3, Alaska becomes the 49th State, and the U.S. transfers ownership of Anchorage International Airport to the new state at an estimated value of $11,650,000.
- In the 1960s
Anchorage established itself as the “Air Crossroads of the World.” Seven international carriers used the Airport as a regular stop-over on routes between Europe, Asia, and the Eastern U.S., increasing business at the Airport. Jet service grew, requiring larger, re-engineered runways.
As the decade opens; the Airport’s original east/west runway is extended from 8,400 to 10,600 feet.
North America’s largest earthquake (Magnitude 9.2) rocks south central Alaska. Airport damage includes the collapse of the main control tower. The Lake Hood tower is functional and provides air traffic service for the Anchorage Airport until a temporary tower can be built.
The temporary control tower, east of Concourse A, comes on line and is used until the existing tower is completed in 1977.
The International Hexagon Terminal, called “the Hex,” comes on line.
Concourse B, the ticket lobby, and baggage claim are constructed. This space will become the South Terminal.
- In the 1970s
North Slope oil and the eight-billion-dollar trans-Alaska Pipeline, brought substantial business to Anchorage and commercial opportunities to the entire state. In this decade, international passenger traffic increased dramatically.
Another channel is dredged between Lake Hood and Lake Spenard. The first dredged channel connected the lakes in 1938. Five tie-down channels (called “The Fingers”) are constructed.
The Lake Hood tower is decommissioned as all traffic control moves to the new Anchorage tower.
Construction begins for the international satellite terminal, later to be called the North Terminal.
President Jimmy Carter signs the Airline Deregulation Act, deregulating the domestic airline industry. The Act spurs growth in passenger travel and industry consolidation.
- The 1980s
Began as a prosperous decade thanks to oil royalties. Then, oil prices began sliding, causing major cuts in state budgets. Local property values and domestic traffic at the Airport dropped. International passenger traffic steadily increased throughout most of the 1980s. In 1989 Russian airspace was opened allowing alternate routes for international flights.
A new 10,496-foot north/south runway is completed.
The North International Terminal is completed.
Mt. Augustine erupts, bringing air traffic to a temporary halt.
A parking garage with 1,200 parking spaces is built for the South Terminal.
FedEx and UPS begin major transpacific sorting hubs in Anchorage.
Russian airspace opens.
As the Millennium drew to a close, the airline industry in Alaska continued to evolve. While international passenger traffic dropped off in the early 1990s due to alternative routes, other sectors flourished. The 1990s saw numerous expansion projects at the Airport for both the public and private sectors. Air cargo operators began or expanded hubs in Anchorage and domestic passenger traffic increased.
International passenger traffic continues to drop as larger, longer-range jets come on-line.
International passenger traffic decline bottoms out and begins to increase.
The north/south runway was extended more than 1,000 feet to 11,584 feet.
The South Terminal undergoes major renovation and construction begins on a new 440,000 square foot concourse. Parking lots and road access are improved.
In honor of Alaska’s Senior U.S. Senator, the Airport is renamed-Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport.
Terrorists hijack four commercial passenger jets on September 11, 2001, using three to attack the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. The fourth goes down in a Pennsylvania field. For the first time in U.S. aviation history, the Federal Aviation Administration closes U.S. air space for three full days.
The Airport began construction on the new 463,227 C Concourse. Construction continued through the summer of 2004. The Grand Opening of the world class terminal was celebrated on June 30, 2004.
The Airport strengthens and reconstructs its north/south runway, and adds a new north/south taxiway that parallels the reconstructed runway.
The Airport opens its new 115,755-square-foot airside Field Maintenance Facility, housing heavy equipment, snow graders, and other Airport maintenance vehicles.
The Anchorage Rental Car Center opens July 18, 2007. This new, first-class facility is located on a five-acre site immediately east of the Airport. It is the 14th center in the nation where all on-airport car rental concessionaires are located in one building with all of their quick turnaround services. The facility connects to the Airport by means of a tunnel from the Airport’s south terminal.
The Airport began the South Terminal Seismic and Security Retrofit Project in the fall of 2007. Over the course of the project, portions of the B Concourse were closed down for major renovation including seismic enhancements, relocation and increased capacity of the security screening area, and a complete redesign of the ticketing lobby and gate area.
During the summer of 2010, the Airport reconstructs the east half of the southerly east/west runway (Runway 7R/25L). The runway was reopened for full operations in the fall of 2010.
October, 2011 celebrated the opening of the new Airport Communication Center in the North Terminal. The reconstruction and lengthening (1,500 feet) of the west half of the southerly east/west runway (Runway 7R/25L) was completed in the fall of 2011.
On December 16, 2011, Cathay Pacific brought the first 747-8F, a Design Group VI (DGVI) aircraft to land at ANC. The new generation of aircraft is able to carry 16% more revenue-generating cargo volume, is more energy efficient, and is 30% quieter than the 747-400.
ANC continues to see more volume of 747-8F landings, in just 6 months since the first arrival by Cathay Pacific, other carriers are now also flying the 747-8F, including Korean Airlines, and Cargolux.
In August 2012, Icelandair announced that they will begin twice weekly, non-stop seasonal between Iceland and Anchorage. Service is slated to begin May 15, 2013 and will run through mid-September, 2013.