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Bethel Airport (PABE) - Jet Charter Services

The Bethel Airport is located in Bethel, Alaska, a remote salmon fishing village in western Alaska, 400 miles from Anchorage. It can only be accessed by river or air. It is not connected to any road system.

When you charter a private business jet into Bethel Airport, you will discover the beauty of the vast Alaskan wilderness where double rainbows appear in the night and a sky so big it takes your breath away.

It is the regional hub of the Yukon Kuskokwim Delta, an area about the size of Indiana where about 25,000 people live in 50 native villages. The Port of Bethel is the northernmost port in the United States.

What is the airport code for Bethel Airport?

The ICAO code for Bethel Airport is PABE and its IATA code is BET.

Airport Information for Bethel Airport (PABE, BET)

AIRPORT INFORMATION
ICAOPABE
IATABET
LOCATIONBethel, AK, United States
FACILITY TYPEAIRPORT
Runway Length (ft) Width (ft) Surface Type Elevation (ft)
11/29 1860 75 GRVL-G 122.91803
18/36 6400 150 ASPH-F 122.91803

Landing at Bethel Airport in a Cessna 208 Caravan

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Why Charter a Jet to BET

Unless you have a kayak or a dogsled, the airport is the only way to get into Bethel. While there are a few commercial carriers that use the airport, your best bet is to charter a private business jet from a broker like Paramount Business Jets.

But, be prepared to enter a world probably very unlike the one in which you live.

There are no fixed base operators at the state-owned airport. There is no public passenger terminal building or facilities. The terminal is owned by Alaska Airlines and is usually only staffed during the times of commercial carrier arrivals, which is about three times a day.

Bethel Airport is a regional transportation center, and is served by seven passenger carriers, including Alaska Airlines, Yute Air and Frontier Flying Service. It also receives service from cargo operators and has several small air taxi services to nearby villages such as Akiachak, Akiak, Kwethluk, Napakiak, Napaskiak and Oscarville.

There are no Custom and Border Patrol agents at the airport.

Bethel, Alaska, is a town that is not connected to any road system – although the Kuskokwim River is used as an ice road during the winter. The city has very limited resources.

Bethel Airport strongly encourages pilots to contact the airport to schedule private or chartered flights.

Who uses the airport? In 2010, the airport, 3521 State Hwy, Bethel, AK 99554, had 122,000 aircraft operations, an average of 334 per day. It is the third busiest airport in Alaska. Airport usage broke down like this:

  • 54 percent air taxi
  • 41 percent general aviation
  • 4 percent scheduled commercial
  • 1 percent military

Three float plane bases are nearby at Hangar Lake, H Marker Lake, and the Kuskokwim River.

Many small air taxi services operate out of Bethel Airport. It has a 6,400-foot asphalt runway and a 1,850-foot gravel runway, which are undergoing a $7 million expansion and renovation.

Flying in Alaska is tricky

According to the Alaska Department of Transportation, “Alaska is a very complex aviation environment. Flying safely here requires thorough planning and special attention. When well planned, flying in Alaska presents no particular problems and can be very inspiring. Alaska summer flying weather is generally good with long daylight hours. But expect delays due to adverse weather and marginal VFR conditions.

“Do not push the weather. Weather reporting points are far apart. Ask for and give pilot reports often. Though VFR flight plans are not required, they are strongly recommended. Much of Alaska is mountainous. The correct entrance to mountain passes can be deceptive. Dead-end box canyons are common. Airports are separated by great distances so fuel planning must be accurate and alternative routes/airports seriously considered. Magnetic variation may be as much as 25 degrees east. Be vigilant in tracking your flight across the ground. Icing conditions are encountered year round. Most of Alaska’s runways are gravel. Many are not lighted. Airspace around major population centers can be quite crowded and contain special restrictions and requirements.”

Why Visit Bethel

Bethel is home to the premiere mid-distance dog sled race in the world, the Kuskokwim 300. Held every January since 1980, the race commemorates an early mail route that once tied the settlement to the outside world. Top mushers and hundreds of sled dogs participate in the race for a purse of $100,000, the largest offered by any 300-mile sled dog race.

The Kuskokwim 300 is one of the toughest races in Alaska. The 300-mile trek goes from Bethel, across tundra and the Kuskokwim River to Aniak and back. Visitors can watch or compete.

In addition to the famous Kuskokwim 300, Bethel also hosts the Bogus Creek 150, the Akiak Dash as well as many other local short distance races.

The Kuskokwim 300 race committee has several missions: to further the interest in dog sled racing; to re-establish historic trails in the Lower Kuskokwim area of Alaska; to build a strong mushing community in the Yukon Kuskokwim Delta and to educate its members and the public about the sport of dog sled racing.

Even if not going by way of dog sled, Bethel is a good place to start a trip through the Alaskan wilderness on the Kisaralik, Kwethluk, Aniak, Kanektok, Arolik, Goodnews, Eek and Holitna rivers.

Hunters and fisherman strike gold in Bethel. It is, of course, known for salmon fishing. Hunters come to kill moose – and also caribou, geese, ducks, rabbits and bears. The best hunting spot is said by locals to be about a mile behind the airport.

Visitors also rent private business jets into Bethel from across Alaska and elsewhere for the thee-day Camai (which translates to “a warm hello”) Dance Festival, the largest festival of its kind. It is held every March. Hundreds of native singers, drummers and costumed dancers perform traditional Yupik story dances during the festival.

About Bethel, Alaska

Bethel is a town with a population of about 6,000, proud of its Yup’ik Eskimo ancestors. It is the biggest town in Alaska’s Yukon Kuskokwim Delta.

Though the region is flat and mostly treeless, Bethel lies inside the Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge, the second largest wildlife refuge in the United States.

Bethel has a subarctic climate with long, cold winters and short, mild summers. The average temperature in January is 6.6 degrees F (−14.1 degrees C); the average temperature in July is 56 degrees F (13.3 degrees C). The temperature only gets above 70 about 13 days a year.

There are about 16 miles of road in Bethel but none, not even the 10-mile stretch of paved road, are hooked up to contiguous villages. There is, however, a network of snowmobile trails that connect Bethel to native villages from the Yukon to the Bering Sea.

Bethel’s claim to fame (infamy) is its nickname as the Cabbie Capital of the World. There are about 70 taxi drivers in Bethel, one for every 85 people, making it the city in America with the most taxis per capita..

That’s not only because there are no roads in or out of Bethel but also because the roads it does have are in very bad condition. If you want to own a car or other vehicle, you have to have it shipped in or brought in on a plane, which is prohibitively expensive. If you want to buy a car in Bethel – many people leave their cars when they leave because they cost so much to ship – you will pay about double what it’s worth.

Even if you do manage to own a car, gas – like just about everything else in Bethel – is very expensive because Bethel is like an island. Everything has to be imported.

Despite that (or because of it), 23 percent of the population is below the poverty line. But, as a fan of the remote town said, residents spend their money on having fun instead of expensive material goods.

Unfortunately, one of the things Alaskans do to have fun is drink and alcoholism is a serious problem in Alaska. For that reason, many cities and towns have designated themselves as dry, with no legal alcohol sales.

Bethel, however, voted to become a wet community in 2009. That means alcohol is legal to possess and to bring in. There are a couple of places to buy liquor but it is best to bring your own.

Taco day in Bethel

If you never heard of Bethel, maybe this story will jog a memory.

A few years ago, a rumor was spreading around Bethel that it was getting a Taco Bell, an exciting prospect for the remote Alaskan city. People were excited.

Until they found out it was a hoax.

When the Taco Bell people found out about the town’s disappointment that it had no plans to open one of its restaurants there, the Irvine, California, based fast-food company took pity on residents and sent them a gift.

Taco Bell hired a helicopter to drop a Taco Bell food truck containing 950 pounds of beef, 500 pounds of sour cream, 300 pounds of tomatoes, 300 pounds of lettuce and 150 pounds of cheddar cheese, enough to make 10,000 tacos, to Bethel in 2012.

METAR Weather Data at Bethel Airport, PABE, BET

STATIONPABE
OBSERVEDTue Nov 20, 23:41 UTC
NOWTue Nov 20, 23:51 UTC
AGE10 min ago
WINDSE at 8 mph
VISIBILITY1/4 mile
CONDITIONSlight freezing rain & freezing fog
CLOUDSvertical visibility to 200 ft
TEMP25°F (-4°C)
WIND CHILL16°F (-9°C)
DEWPT25°F (-4°C)
HUMIDITY100%
BAROMETER998 hPa (29.47 in Hg)
METARPABE 202341Z 13007KT 1/4SM R19R/1600V2000FT -FZRA FZFG VV002 M04/M04 A2947 RMK AO2 FZRAB41 P0000 I1001 T10391039

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