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A Visit to Alaskan FSS in Nome: Small, But Very Busy Aviation Hub

The control room at Nome FSS.

(Aug. 10, 2018)

From Clint Lancaster, Alaskan Regional Vice President:

“I had a good visit recently to Nome Flight Service Station (FSS) to see how our NATCA brothers and sisters work in the Alaskan remote FSS sites.

“These FSS stations are an integral part of aviation in the remote parts of Alaska where the only mode of transport is airplane. They sometimes work up to 800 operations a day locally and in conjunction with Anchorage Center! Watching the FSS controllers track down an Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT) by using their local contacts and knowledge of the area reiterated the importance of having our FSS stations located in these many small, but very busy, aviation hubs throughout our state.

“We toured the facilities. We also ran some musk oxen (pictured below) off the runway with just the airport truck at first, then when that didn’t work, they broke out the water cannon! Those things ran pretty quick when they saw that bright green truck! Hilarious.

“We also went and checked out some of the navaids and other aviation-related areas of Nome. Very good visit.”

NATCA represents all 17 Flight Service Stations in Alaska, including four hub locations — Fairbanks, Juneau, Kenai, and Palmer. These controllers provide airport advisory services, pre-flight briefings, and search and rescue operations, among other services.


The original hanger at the Nome gravel strip. At one time this was the northernmost commercial aviation strip in North America. The strip is now used for general aviation aircraft but is still running strong.

A view of the Nome FSS and runways.

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