The Kodiak Daily Mirror September 21 edition included a letter by Carolyn Heitman expressing concern over Alaska Aerospace efforts to ensure adequate lodging capability is available for customers using our Pacific Spaceport Complex – Alaska. As a proud member of the Kodiak business community, Alaska Aerospace is committed to keeping residents informed of our activities and maximizing the use of local businesses.
Ms. Heitman’s first concern was about last year’s acquisition of a small two bed-room house in the Pasagshak Bay community. First, it should be noted that Alaska Aerospace has not received any new appropriated state funding since FY2015. As we moved away from state and federal sustainment funding, we aggressively looked for ways to reduce expenses. An analysis found that costs for hotel rentals for some Alaska Aerospace non-Kodiak-based personnel could be substantially reduced by investing in a small property close to the site. This location significantly reduced travel time to the site, which provided added efficiencies, as well as increasing safety and providing cost savings. We have also recently been encountering some vandalism at PSCA and felt a presence in the area, allowing us to respond within minutes, was important. Acquisition of this property was approved by our Board of Directors at their December 2016 meeting and was paid for with retained earnings, not state funds.
Her second concern addressed our efforts to accommodate a large number of personnel to support missions under our multi-year Missile Defense Agency contract. This year, MDA successfully completed two test launches of the Terminal High Altitude Air Defense (THAAD) system from PSCA. For these launches, MDA required lodging for a large number of soldiers in close proximity to the THAAD system to provide realism during tests. Alaska Aerospace secured a contract with PRL, an Alaskan company, to construct and operate temporary housing units at PSCA this summer for these soldiers. In accordance with their contract, PRL has now removed the units.
With additional government and commercial launches coming to PSCA in future years, Alaska Aerospace has been evaluating ways to provide the most cost effective lodging solution that meets customer requirements. While the current Narrow Cape Lodge provides excellent accommodations for up to 56 personnel, it does not meet the projected requirements for MDA and commercial customer’s future operations. Efforts to provide a housing solution to meet these requirements are not intended to compete with local lodging businesses. Rather, with hotel rooms available in Kodiak, other contractors and commercial customers will continue to use the local market during PSCA operations, as was done this year and for our previous operations.
Alaska Aerospace has dramatically changed these past few years. While still a public corporation, we no longer receive state or federal sustainment funding; we are financially solvent and expanding operations with multiple government and commercial launch contracts; we are currently supporting one of these commercial customers in New Zealand; and we have substantially reduced the operating costs of the company, making us an attractive competitor for the new small launch vehicle market. Finally, it must be noted that we have generated over $350 million in non-state of Alaska revenues from our operations, with a significant amount spent in the Kodiak community.
Alaska Aerospace is very proud of our relationship with Kodiak. As we continue to grow our business, we will be providing additional benefits to Kodiak at a time when diversifying the economy is most needed. Thank you for your continued support.
Craig E. Campbell
President and CEO
Alaska Aerospace Corporation