Some kids at Bristol Bay Borough School District don’t walk miles through the snow to school everyday, or even ride a school bus: A daily air charter brings students from South Naknek to the north side of the river to attend school in Naknek.
According to the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development, it’s the only daily air taxi to a school in the state.
Students say they enjoy getting to see their two hometowns from the air every day, especially this time of year, when things green up.
The students climb into the four-seater plane operated by King Air, clutching laptops and bookbags. It’s a short flight; the plane will touch down on the south side in less than five minutes.
The air taxi is not only fast, it’s the most reliable and safest way to get across the Naknek River. Twenty-foot tidal fluctuations make it impossible to launch a boat at the same time day after day, and the river doesn’t freeze consistently enough to drive vehicles across in the winter. An effort to build a bridge between the two communities never got enough support or funding.
–from Alaska Dispatch News story