Ketchikan International Airport (IATA: KTN, ICAO: PAKT, FAA LID: KTN) is a state-owned, public-use airport located one nautical mile (2 km) west of the central business district of Ketchikan, a city in Ketchikan Gateway Borough in Alaska that has no direct road access to the outside world or to the airport. The airport is located on Gravina Island, just west of Ketchikan on the other side of the Tongass Narrows. Passengers must take a seven-minute ferry ride across the water to get to the airport from the town.
As per Federal Aviation Administration records, the airport had 108,837 passenger boardings (enplanements) in calendar year 2008, 96,996 enplanements in 2009, and 100,138 in 2010. It is included in the National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2015-2019, which categorized it as a primary commercial service (nonhub) airport (more than 10,000 enplanements per year) based on 103,136 enplanements in 2012.
The current airport was opened on August 4, 1973 and was dedicated on the following day. The airport opening was the culmination of an effort by local residents, a 1965 study by the Alaska State Division of Aviation, another study in 1967 choosing the current site on Gravina Island, and land clearing in 1969. One of the first airlines to serve the new airport was Alaska Airlines which inaugurated the first jet service from Seattle to Ketchikan International Airport on August 4, 1973 with a Boeing 720 jetliner. Alaska Air primarily operated Boeing 727-100, 727-200 and 737-200 jetliners (including 737 passenger/cargo Combi aircraft) into the airport before switching to later model Boeing 737 jets. Alaska Airlines has flown from the airport for over 40 years and also operated Grumman Goose and Super Catalina amphibian aircraft into the seaplane base serving Ketchikan prior to the opening of the airfield in 1973. Other airlines that operated jet service into the airport in the past included Wien Air Alaska and MarkAir with both air carriers flying Boeing 737 jets as well as Western Airlines operating Boeing 727-200 jetliners.