Seaplane community & opportunities


Alaska is a meca for seaplane pilots and home to one of the largest populations of both seaplane pilots and seaplanes in the world. At the heart of this meca is Lake Hood in Anchorage which has the distinction of being the largest and busiest seaplane base in the world with over 750 resident aircraft and 67,000 operations annually..

However, this seaplane base also becomes the worlds largest ski plane base, as most of the seaplanes based at the lake remove their floats and replace them with skis for the winter months.

The cruise ship and tourism industry along with the uniquely large roadless wilderness in Alaska has made seaplanes and bush flying skills essential for Alaskans to survive and maintain services such as getting children to school, law enforcement and the delivery of almost any common item that can not be harvested from the land, sea or rivers.


Seaplane Economic Impact Numbers

Seaplanes provide a huge economic impact to the Alaskan economy, and while assessing the total value of this economic impact is close to impossible Lake Hood did conduct an economic impact study and the results are impressive.

Direct Economic Impact $25 Million Dollars

Indirect Economic Impact $17 Million Dollars

Total Economic Impact $42 Million Dollars

Direct Jobs 130 Earning $8.5 Million Dollars

Indirect Jobs 100 Earning $5.5 Million Dollars

Total Jobs 230 Earning $14 Million Dollars

Download the official study results by clicking here…

Lake Hood Time Line

1920’s  First seaplane activity at Lake Hood occurs in the early 1920’s.

1938 The channel connecting Lake Spaniard and Lake Hood constructed.

1940’s  &1950’s The first seaplanes offering commercial services in Alaska and Lake Hood emerged in the 1940’s  & 1950’s.

1954 The air traffic control tower at Lake Hood is constructed in 1954.

1972 The gravel airstrip north of Lake Hood is constructed in 1972.

1975 The East/West channel is constructed between Lake Hood and Lake Spenard in 1975.

1977 In 1977, the Lake Hood air traffic control tower is decommissioned and its operations are transferred to the new ANC control tower.

1994 Operations for Lake Hood peak at their all time high in 1994 with over 90,000 take off and landing operations.

2013 The Lake Hood Economic impact study listed above on this page is conducted on 2013.

Get more info on Flying Seaplanes in Alaska

Join the Seaplane Pilots Association

and help protect and promote water flying

Significant bodies of water
that are open include:

The simple answer is almost all of the significant bodies of water are open in Alaska.

Significant bodies of water
that are Closed include:

National Wildlife Refuge that are not open to seaplane activity.

Downloadable Resources

Report an Advocacy
Issue or Event

Have a seaplane advocacy issue or event in Alaska? Please tell us about it below, so we can publish it and work the issue if needed.

Alaska Field Directors

Alaska State Officials