Separately, a private developer plans to build a four-story garage for eight rental-car companies. Construction on the $57 million project, which is to be paid for with additional rental-car customer fees, is scheduled to start next spring and the facility is to be open by spring 2007.
The robust growth at Anchorage's airport has a spillover effect on the city, as the rising number of jobs and ever-increasing levels of activity create even more jobs in the surrounding community, ISER's Goldsmith said.
Those jobs are created in places such as the grocery and department stores where airport employees shop, and hotels and restaurants where flight crews laying over in Anchorage stay and eat, Goldsmith said.
ISER estimates that the airport supports some 7,000 jobs outside the airport, compared with 4,300 in 1996.
Neal Fried, a state labor economist, noted that while the employment figures are impressive, the airport's economic importance to Anchorage and the state as a whole goes far beyond the jobs count.
"It's a basic piece of our economic infrastructure," Fried said. "Without it, you wouldn't have a lot of other economic activity. It allows for a huge chunk of our commerce to take place."