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TSA will fly in screeners to an Alaskan outpost to inspect one flight per day
Because the tiny landlocked city of Gustavus, Alaska has a seasonal airport that is open only during the summer months and services only one Alaska Airlines flight per day, TSA has awarded a $40,000 contract to a small Juneau-based airline to fly four TSA security screeners from Juneau to Gustavus and back again, each day for 77 consecutive days.
The airline that won the contract, Alaska Juneau Aeronautics – which does business as “Wings of Alaska” – will carry the TSA screeners on a 25-minute flight to Gustavus, so they can perform their screening duties on the passengers leaving Gustavus on the sole Alaska Airlines flight that takes off each day.
“The screeners will need to depart Juneau airport in time to arrive at the Gustavus airport daily between the hours of 12:30 pm and 2:30 pm each day and depart Gustavus for Juneau between the hours of 6:00 PM and 7:00 PM each evening,” explains an award notice posted by TSA on June 10. The flights will run from June 12 through August 27.
TSA has contracted with Alaska Juneau Aeronautics to transport four individuals per day for 77 days for a total of 308 passenger seats throughout the entire season, or $130 per person per flight. The same airline runs scheduled service between Juneau and Gustavus about six times a day at a price of $92 per flight, according to the airline’s own Website.
Located 41 miles west of Juneau, Gustavus considers itself the gateway to Glacier Bay National Park, which offers visitors a selection of exciting wilderness adventures and activities, including world-class ocean kayaking, sport-fishing, whale watching and hiking. The community has a population of 377.