Cold Bay Airport

Last updated
Cold Bay Airport
Airport typePublic
Owner State of Alaska DOT&PF - Central Region
Serves Cold Bay, Alaska
Elevation  AMSL 101 ft / 31 m
Coordinates 55°12′19″N162°43′28″W / 55.20528°N 162.72444°W / 55.20528; -162.72444 Coordinates: 55°12′19″N162°43′28″W / 55.20528°N 162.72444°W / 55.20528; -162.72444
USA Alaska location map.svg
Airplane silhouette.svg
Location of airport in Alaska
Direction LengthSurface
Statistics (2016)
Aircraft operations9,090
Based aircraft0
Freight3,017,000 lbs
The airfield at Cold Bay, 1942, later named Fort Randall AAF, then Thornbrough Field Fort Randall Army Airfield 1942.jpg
The airfield at Cold Bay, 1942, later named Fort Randall AAF, then Thornbrough Field

Cold Bay Airport( IATA : CDB, ICAO : PACD, FAA LID : CDB) is a state owned, public use airport located in Cold Bay, [1] a city in the Aleutians East Borough of the U.S. state of Alaska. First built as a United States Army Air Forces airfield during World War II, it is one of the main airports serving the Alaska Peninsula. Scheduled passenger service is available and air taxi operators fly in and out of the airport daily. Formerly, the airport operated as Thornbrough Air Force Base.


According to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) records, the airport had 9,105 passenger boardings (enplanements) in calendar year 2008, [2] 8,968 enplanements in 2009, and 9,261 in 2010. [3] It is included in the National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2011–2015, which categorized it as a "non-primary commercial service" airport, meaning it has between 2,500 and 10,000 enplanements per year. [4]

Cold Bay's main runway is the fifth-largest in Alaska and was built during World War II. Today, it is used for scheduled cargo flights by Alaska Central Express and is sometimes used as an emergency diversion airport for passenger flights crossing the Pacific Ocean. [5] [6]

A myth describes Cold Bay Airport as an alternate landing site for Space Shuttles, [7] but the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has stated that it was never so designated, and it was not within the entry crossrange capability of Space Shuttles.

There is a National Weather Service (NWS) office (which sends up radiosonde balloons twice a day) colocated with the FAA Flight Service Station at the airport. The NWS ranks Cold Bay as the cloudiest city in the United States. [8]


The airport was constructed during World War II as Fort Randall Army Airfield, eventually becoming an Air Force base during the Cold War.

Facilities and aircraft

Cold Bay Airport covers 2,213 acres (896 ha) and has two asphalt paved runways: 15/33 is 10,180 by 150 feet (3,174 x 46 m) and 8/26 is 4,900 by 150 feet (1,494 x 46 m). For the 12-month period ending October 30, 2017, the airport had 9,090 aircraft operations, an average of 25 per day: 63% air taxi, 30% scheduled commercial, 5% military, and 2% general aviation. [1]

Airlines and destinations

The following airlines offer scheduled passenger service at this airport:

Grant Aviation False Pass, King Cove, Nelson Lagoon, St. George, Sand Point, Unalaska/Dutch Harbor [9]
Ravn Alaska Anchorage, Sand Point [10]
Passengers boarding a Boeing 767 to complete their flight to Portland after their flight was diverted due to an engine issue with the first aircraft Boarding in Cold Bay (32336247012).jpg
Passengers boarding a Boeing 767 to complete their flight to Portland after their flight was diverted due to an engine issue with the first aircraft

Historical airline service

Reeve Aleutian Airways (RAA) served Cold Bay with scheduled passenger flights for many years. During the 1970s and 1980s, Reeve was operating nonstop flights to Anchorage (ANC) with Lockheed L-188 Electra and NAMC YS-11 turboprop aircraft. [11] Reeve was also operating Electra propjet service nonstop to Seattle (SEA) on a three flights per week schedule in 1979. [12] By 1989, the airline had introduced nonstop jet service to Anchorage operated with Boeing 727-100 combi aircraft which were capable of transporting both passengers and freight on the main deck of the aircraft in addition to continuing to operate nonstop Electra service to Anchorage as well. [13] Reeve was continuing to operate 727 jet service nonstop to Anchorage during the late 1990s before ceasing all flight operations in 2000. [14] From 2020 until the summer of 2021, Alaska Airlines flights to and from Adak would stop in Cold Bay to assist passengers with the shutdown of commuter flights from Anchorage to Cold Bay and Unalaska.


Carrier shares: January – December 2016 [15]
Carrier  Passengers (arriving and departing)
Top domestic destinations: January – December 2016 [15]
1 Flag of Alaska.svg Anchorage, AK Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport 4,870
2 Flag of Alaska.svg King Cove, AK King Cove Airport 1,640
3 Flag of Alaska.svg False Pass, AK False Pass Airport 330
4 Flag of Alaska.svg Nelson Lagoon, AK Nelson Lagoon Airport 230
5 Flag of Alaska.svg Port Moller, AK Port Moller Airport 200

Accidents and incidents

Related Research Articles

Oxnard Airport General aviation airport in Oxnard, California

Oxnard Airport is a county-owned, public airport a mile west of downtown Oxnard, in Ventura County, California. The airport has not had scheduled passenger service since June 8, 2010, when United Express ended flights to Los Angeles International Airport. America West Express also served the airport with nonstop flights to Phoenix in the early-2000s via a code sharing agreement with America West Airlines.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport</span> Airport serving Anchorage, Alaska, U.S.

Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport is a major airport in the U.S. state of Alaska, located 5 miles (8 km) southwest of downtown Anchorage. The airport is named for Ted Stevens, a U.S. senator from Alaska in office from 1968 to 2009. It is included in the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2017–2021, in which it is categorized as a medium-hub primary commercial service facility.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Reeve Aleutian Airways</span>

Reeve Aleutian Airways was an airline headquartered in Anchorage, Alaska, United States. It ceased operations on December 5, 2000.


Shemya or Simiya is a small island in the Semichi Islands group of the Near Islands chain in the Aleutian Islands archipelago southwest of Alaska, at 52°43′27″N174°07′08″E. It has a land area of 5.903 sq mi (15.29 km2), and is about 1,200 miles (1,900 km) southwest of Anchorage, Alaska. It is 2.73 miles (4.39 km) wide and 4.32 miles (6.95 km) long.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Billings Logan International Airport</span> Public airport in Billings, Montana, United States

Billings Logan International Airport is two miles northwest of downtown Billings, in Yellowstone County, Montana, United States. It is the second largest airport in Montana, having been surpassed by Bozeman in both number of gates as well as annual enplanements in recent years, and is owned by the city of Billings. The airport is on top of the Rims, a 500-foot (150 m) cliff overlooking the downtown core. BIL covers 2,300 acres (9.3 km2) of land.

Deadhorse Airport Airport in Alaska

Deadhorse Airport is a public airport located in Deadhorse on the North Slope of Alaska. It can be accessed from Fairbanks via the Elliott and Dalton highways. It is near Prudhoe Bay and is sometimes also called Prudhoe Airport.

Combi aircraft Aircraft that can carry passengers and/or cargo

Combi aircraft in commercial aviation are aircraft that can be used to carry either passengers as an airliner, or cargo as a freighter, and may have a partition in the aircraft cabin to allow both uses at the same time in a mixed passenger/freight combination. The name combi comes from the word combination, and is derived from the famous Volkswagen Type 2 van, often called the "Kombi" van, specifically the Kombinationskraftwagen variant, with side windows and removable rear seats, which both a passenger and a cargo vehicle combined. The concept previously existed in railroading, as a passenger car that contained a separate compartment for mail and/or baggage.

Magic Valley Regional Airport Airport

Magic Valley Regional Airport, also known as Joslin Field, is a public use airport located four nautical miles (7 km) south of the central business district of Twin Falls, Idaho. The airport is owned by the City and County of Twin Falls. It is mostly used for general aviation but is also served by two commercial airlines.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Juneau International Airport</span> International airport serving Juneau, Alaska, United States

Juneau International Airport is a city-owned, public-use airport and seaplane base located seven nautical miles northwest of the central business district of Juneau, a city and borough in the U.S. state of Alaska that has no direct road access to the outside world. The airport serves as a regional hub for all air travel, from bush carriers to major U.S. air carriers such as Alaska Airlines.

Grand Canyon National Park Airport Airport in Coconino County, Arizona

Grand Canyon National Park Airport is a state-owned public-use airport located in Tusayan, CDP in unincorporated Coconino County, Arizona, United States. It is near Grand Canyon National Park, 7 miles from the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. The airport is primarily used for scenic tours and charter flights.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bellingham International Airport</span> Airport in Whatcom County

Bellingham International Airport is three miles (5 km) northwest of Bellingham, in Whatcom County, Washington, United States. BLI covers 2,190 acres of land, and is the third-largest commercial airport in Washington.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Yakima Air Terminal</span> Airport

McAllister Field is a public airport three miles south of Yakima, in Yakima County, Washington. Owned by the City of Yakima, it is used for general aviation and commercial air service. Yakima is served by one scheduled passenger air carrier and two non-scheduled carriers. Sun Country Airlines operates charter flights to Laughlin, NV and Xtra Airways operates charter flights to Wendover, NV.

Adak Airport Runway and terminal for aircraft on the Aleutian island

Adak Airport is a state-owned public-use airport located west of Adak, on Adak Island in the Aleutian Islands in the U.S. state of Alaska. The airport is the farthest western airfield with scheduled passenger air service in the entire United States at 176.64W.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Kodiak Airport</span> Airport in Alaska

Kodiak Benny Benson State Airport is a public and military use airport located four nautical miles southwest of the central business district of Kodiak, a city on Kodiak Island in the U.S. state of Alaska. The airport is state-owned and operated by the Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities (DOT&PF). It is home to the co-located Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak and a hub for Servant Air. On April 11, 2013, the Alaska State Legislature passed SB31, which renamed the facility "Kodiak Benny Benson State Airport," in honor of the designer of the Alaskan flag.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Kenai Municipal Airport</span> Airport

Kenai Municipal Airport is a city-owned, public-use airport located in Kenai, a city in the Kenai Peninsula Borough of the U.S. state of Alaska.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Unalaska Airport</span> Airport in Amaknak Island

Tom Madsen Airport is a state-owned public-use airport in City of Unalaska, on Amaknak Island in the Aleutian Islands, off the coast of the U.S. state of Alaska. It is located near the Bering Sea coast of Unalaska Island, 800 miles (1,300 km) southwest of Anchorage and 1,950 miles (3,140 km) from Seattle.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">PenAir</span> U.S.-based regional airline

Peninsula Airways, operated as PenAir, was a U.S.-based regional airline headquartered in Anchorage, Alaska. It was Alaska's second-largest commuter airline operating scheduled passenger service, as well as charter and medevac services throughout the state. Its main base was Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport. PenAir had a code sharing agreement in place with Alaska Airlines with its flights operated in the state of Alaska.

Mammoth Yosemite Airport Regional airport in Mono County, California

Mammoth Yosemite Airport is a town-owned public airport seven miles east of Mammoth Lakes, in Mono County, California, United States. Also known as Mammoth Lakes Airport or Mammoth-June Lake Airport, it is mainly used for general aviation, but has scheduled passenger flights operated by one airline which primarily serves the airport on a seasonal basis during the winter ski season. Additional scheduled passenger service for the Mammoth area is seasonally available at the nearby Eastern Sierra Regional Airport located in Bishop, CA.

Nikolski Air Station is an unattended airport located in Nikolski on Umnak Island in the Aleutians West Census Area of the U.S. state of Alaska. This former military airport is now owned by The Aleut Corporation.

Soldotna Airport Public airport in Soldotna, Alaska, United States

Soldotna Airport is a city-owned, public use airport located one nautical mile (1.85 km) southeast of the central business district of Soldotna, Alaska.


  1. 1 2 3 FAA Airport Form 5010 for CDB PDF . Federal Aviation Administration. effective April 27, 2017.
  2. "Passenger Boarding (Enplanement) and All-Cargo Data for U.S. Airports" (PDF, 1.0 MB). Federal Aviation Administration. December 18, 2009.
  3. "CY 2010 Passenger Boarding and All-Cargo Data" (PDF, 189 KB). Federal Aviation Administration. October 4, 2011.
  4. "2011–2015 National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems, Appendix A" (PDF). Federal Aviation Administration. October 4, 2010. Archived from the original (PDF, 2.03 MB) on 2012-09-27.
  5. "Continental trans-Pacific flight makes emergency landing". The Associated Press. 2004-10-19. Archived from the original on 2011-05-24. Alt URL
  6. "A Quick Fix—Getting a 787 Back in the Air After a Diversion". Flightradar24. 2016-10-22.
  7. Rowe, Mike, 1962-. The way I heard it. Hall, Marcellus (First Gallery Books hardcover ed.). New York. ISBN   978-1-982130-85-5. OCLC   732767658.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  8. Osborn, Liz. "Cloudiest Places in United States". Current Results weather and science facts. Current Results Nexus. Retrieved 10 September 2015.
  9. "Grant Schedule". (retrieved Sep 11, 2022)
  10. "Route Map" . Retrieved 17 December 2020.
  11., April 15, 1975; Nov. 15, 1979; April 1, 1981 Official Airline Guide (OAG) editions, Anchorage flight schedules
  12., Nov. 15, 1979 Official Airline Guide (OAG), Seattle flight schedules
  13., Dec. 15, 1989 Official Airline Guide (OAG), Anchorage flight schedules
  14., June 1, 1999 Official Airline Guide (OAG), Anchorage flight schedules
  15. 1 2 "Cold Bay, AK: Cold Bay(CDB)". Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA), U.S. Department of Transportation. December 2016. Retrieved May 4, 2017.
Military history