Lake Hood History

airplane graphic 1940

Lake Hood and Lake Spenard were joined by a single channel and a 2,200 east-west gravel runway was constructed.

airplane graphic 1950's

Additional floatplane parking was developed and the floatplane complex was enlarged.

An air traffic control tower was installed in 1954 on the south side of Lake Spenard and the east/west take off channel near the gravel strip.

airplane graphic 1969

The gravel strip operation on the south side of Lake Spenard was closed, and a new north-south gravel airstrip was built in 1972.

Located on the north side of Lake Spenard, the new gravel airstrip is 2,200 feet long and is designated Runway 13-31.

airplane graphic 1975

An east/west slow taxi channel between Lake Hood and Lake Spenard was dredged, and the existing five tie-down channels were constructed. This channel is north of the old channel, separated by Gull Island, and is used exclusively for taxi purposes between the lakes.

airplane graphic 1977

The Lake Hood air traffic control tower was decommissioned and aircraft control was transferred to the new Anchorage International Airport control tower.

In addition to being the largest and most active air carrier facility in Alaska, Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport operates the largest and most active seaplane base in the world.

Together with private facilities, there are an estimated 404 slips in total. Of these, 351 are State-owned slips situated along Lake Hood and Lake Spenard shorelines. These float slips may be leased to private individuals and commercial air taxi operators through the Airport's General Aviation Operations and Tie-Down Office.

The Lake Hood/Spenard complex currently consists of three waterlanes located in Lakes Hood and Spenard and a small gravel runway located about 1000 feet northeast of Lake Hood.

During the winter months, the frozen Lake Hood/Spenard Complex remains in full use by small aircraft when many floatplane operators, as well as wheeled aircraft operators, replace their summer-season floats with skis and operate on the lake ice.

The lake ice can be utilized by all small general aviation aircraft, however, aircraft with weights above 12,500 pounds are prohibited from operating on the ice.

In addition to the leased slips along the lakes' shorelines, several areas, which are controlled by the airport, are designated as skiplane parking areas.

Questions? Contact: dot.aia.lhd.office@alaska.gov