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Active runway at Adak, Alaska

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Not sure if anyone knows this one. There are two runways at Adak, AK (PADK). 36/18 and 25/7. Navigraph charts show that 36/18 is a dirt runway with no info on it. Google Earth shows two paved runways with both appearing active. Flightaware shows two runways, but only lists stats for 25/07. 

It looks like PADK used to be a naval air station, but is only civilian now. It still has weekly passenger service from Anchorage. 

Does anyone know the status of 36/18? FSX atc still uses it. Should I turn it off with ADE?



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Everything I am seeing...and I checked Navigraph Jeppessen Charts, AirNav, and even Flightaware (not sure where on that site you found two runways listed)...shows only one operational runway at PADK...05/23.

On the Google Earth image there does appear the old 18/36 runway, but access to it is "x'd" out at the entry points and you have to remember, that imagery is from 2013.  The very same Google Image image is also presented on flight aware, but no imagery date provided, but even then, it clearly shows the runway numbered 05/23 and the unused 18/36, so not sure where you found "stats" for a runway 7/25, the old numbering from many years ago.


Randy Tyndall

You never lose the buzz of flying. Every time you take off, it feels a bit naughty, as if you're doing something you shouldn't do...Matt Jones, Boultbee Flight Academy

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Thanks for the reply. Not sure where I got the info. Went to check again and could find anything so I’m not sure where I saw it originally. Just chalk it up to user error  

Anyway, I did find some more up to date information. The runway was permanently closed in 2016. Do all closed runways have an X on the threshold?

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Normally I have seen the "X" placed where the runway numbers are usually placed, but being a prior Naval Air Station who knows?  This is the first time I have seen the "X" where a "hold short" line would normally be.  Maybe there is a plan to use 18/36 as a new taxiway so they haven't removed markings yet until the taxiway modification.  I don't know that for fact, just a guess at this point.


Randy Tyndall

You never lose the buzz of flying. Every time you take off, it feels a bit naughty, as if you're doing something you shouldn't do...Matt Jones, Boultbee Flight Academy

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Whenever one would like the current correct information on airports in the USA, consulting the Airport Facility Directory is the most official information one can obtain. From there, the official NOTAMS for the specific airport, for any changes/updates since the latest AFD publication date.

These are freely available from the FAA website.

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To the best of my knowledge, any runway that is out of service in the US will have an X on both ends signifying that it is closed. This is true for military and civilian.

But being that we live in an often out of date simulator world, it is possible that it was not marked.


Thank you.


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In the fall of1986 I was on a United 747 flight from KJFK to Tokyo Narita.  We had a scheduled 1:00 pm departure from Kennedy. We boarded around noon.  1 pm came and went and we not only had not departed, but were seeing little activity toward a departure.  Finally the PIC keyed the mic and let us know what was going on.  Another United 747 departure for Narita had ingested birds upon takeoff from JFK and was just now returning to the airport after dumping fuel in order to be light enough to land.

An hour later we departed after taking in as many passengers as allowed for our takeoff weight limits.  I was in coach and every seat was full.  We were over two hours late for departure for the planned 13 hour flight.

Several hour later, after tracking up over N Canada, across Alaska, and out over the Pacific, the PIC called out for any MD or qualified medical personnel on board.  An elderly passenger in the lower first class level was experiencing a cardiac issue.  We were almost two hours out over the Pacific.  A few minutes later we were told that in that passenger's life or death interest we needed to turn around and head back to Alaska.  We landed at Adak, which at the time was a naval air and sea station, and had a military hospital. 

Per our boarding time and planned arrival time at Narita, we had already lost six hours.  Two hours late for departure, all spent sitting on the plane. Then two hours out over the pacific, plus two hours to return to Narita, then obviously another two hours to get back to the point over the Pacific where we had turned around.

While on the ground at Adak, the United first officer, by both US military and United company policy we were told, accompanied the emergency personnel and passenger to the hospital to get him admitted.  All we could do was sit and wait, and occasionally stand up and walk the aisles.  We were told that Narita was the closest military base on US soil to Russia, and the airport was small. So we were not allowed to deplane.  United was also not able to replenish food or beverage at Adak, so we ran out of both.  Just when I needed another beer.

There were two other interesting aspects of landing at Adak, and the passengers and crew were amazed at both.  Adak is a somewhat mountainous island, located at the end of the chain of Aleutian Islands trailing out from Alaska.  We could look out one side of the 747 and see ice and snow encrusted mountains to the south.  Those faced the north.  But looking north we could see green forest and tundra covered mountains.  They faced south toward the warmer sun.  It was like something from the old TV show "the Twilight Zone".

The other interesting aspect at Adak was that quite a crowd assembled at the airport to look at us.  Local native Alaskan and military families.  We were told that no commercial airliner had ever landed at Adak, much less a 747.

Our wait continued.  The PIC advised us via intercom that we had sacrificed up to four hours of fuel.  Two out over the ocean, two back to Adak.  We needed fuel and the US Navy does not take United Airlines credit cards......  The pilot, and United corporate in Chicago were negotiating with naval officers at Glenvue Naval Air Station in Chicago for some way to resolve the issue.

By the time we got that resolved and continued on to Narita, we deplaned after 24 full clock hours onboard.  And we arrived late, when Japan customs was closed as no flights were scheduled to arrive during a mandated quiet period intended to protect rice crops.  Six hours after arriving we were processed through customs and headed into Tokyo.

100% true story.


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Frank Patton
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                        There is no limit to what a man can do or where he can go if he doesn’t mind who gets the credit! - Benjamin Jowett


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I didn't realise plants required quiet times.. 

Cool, if somewhat harrowing story, Frank. Thank you for sharing.

Mark Robinson

Part-time Ferroequinologist

Author of FLIGHT: A near-future short story (ebook available on amazon)

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I'm surprised that the pilot(s) didn't time out.

Fr. Bill    

AOPA Member: 07141481 AARP Member: 3209010556

Interests: Gauge Programming - 3d Modeling for Milviz

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