Originally created under Administrative Order 204, dated January 1, 2003, the Marine Transportation Advisory Board (MTAB) was established in statute (AS 19.65.110-AS 19.65.195) on May 5, 2009. The board was expanded in 2013 to include a new seat to represent the communities of Kodiak Island and the Kenai Peninsula in South Central. Furthermore, Gustavus was added in Southeast to ports served in the northern region.
The Marine Transportation Advisory Board (MTAB) may issue reports and recommendations and shall, in cooperation with the department, prepare and submit to the Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (DOT&PF) and the Governor for review a strategic plan that includes the mission, core values, objectives, initiatives, and performance goals of the Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS). The board may establish volunteer regional advisory committees. After the Commissioner of Transportation has considered one or more candidates for the position of Director or Deputy Commissioner of the Alaska Marine Highway System, the Commissioner shall confer with MTAB regarding that candidate or those candidates before making an appointment to the position.
The board consists of twelve members appointed by the Governor. Each member must be a resident of the State of Alaska. The board shall be composed of the following members:
One member from each of the following districts who has a significant level of experience in the private sector or local government specializing in finance, economic development or marketing:
- Northern Southeast Alaska, representing Haines, Juneau, Gustavus and Skagway
- Central Southeast Alaska, representing Petersburg, Sitka, and Wrangell
- Southeast Alaska, representing the cities of Angoon, Hoonah, Kake, Pelican, and Tenakee Springs
- Prince William Sound and the Kenai Peninsula, representing the cities of Cordova, Valdez, and Whittier, the City and Borough of Yakutat, and the communities of Chenega Bay and Tatitlek
- Southwest Alaska, representing the cities of Akutan, Chignik, Cold Bay, False Pass, King Cove, Sand Point, and Unalaska, including Dutch Harbor
- South Central Alaska, representing the cities of Old Harbor, Kodiak, Port Lions, Ouzinkie, Seldovia, and Homer
For the following members in this section, there shall be at least one resident of the Ketchikan Gateway Borough and at least two members who are residents of areas not directly served by the Alaska Marine Highway System:
- One retired marine captain or marine engineer who is not affiliated with the Alaska Marine Highway System
- One representative, who may be retired, of a recognized union that represents employees of the Alaska Marine Highway System
- One business owner who has experience interacting with the Alaska Marine Highway System
- One travel agent or tourism specialist familiar with various Alaska marine highway reservation systems available to the public
- Two members of the public at large
The members of the board shall serve staggered three-year terms. If a vacancy arises on the board, the Governor shall, within 30 days after the vacancy arises, appoint a person to serve the balance of the unexpired term. A person appointed to fill the balance of an unexpired term shall serve on the board from the date of appointment until the expiration of the term.
The board shall meet at least 4 times each year. Meetings may be called by the chair or by a majority of the members of the board. At least one meeting each year must be attended by the board members in person, but all other meetings may be conducted by teleconference. All meetings are open to the public unless an executive session is called based on the criteria in AS 44.62.310(b).
Officers and Quorum
The members of the board shall select a chair and a vice-chair from among the members of the board each year. The vice-chair presides over meetings in the absence of the chair. A majority of the members of the board constitutes a quorum. A vacancy in the board does not impair the right of a quorum to exercise all the powers and perform all the duties of the board.