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Economy and transportation

Bethel-AirportBethel Airport is owned by the state, and it’s the main transportation center in the region, and several passenger carriers work with it like Frontier Flying Service, Grant Aviation, an dAlaska Airlines. It also gets service from a lot of cargo operators like Arctic Transportation Services, Alaska Central Express, Northern Air Cargo, and Everts Air Cargo. It has lots of little air taxi services like Renfro’s Alaskan Adventure. It is number three in the state for the total flight number of all the airports. It has an asphalt runway that is 6,400 feet and a 1,850 gravel runway, and there is a $7 million expansion and renovation going on now. There are three float plan bases close by.

The northernmost port in the U.S. is the Port of Bethel. The main way to get summer transportation is river travel. There is a barge service based in Bethel that brings goods to those villages.

There are about 16 miles of roads that are not hooked up to a contiguous highway system. There are winter ice roads that go to different local villages, but their condition alters depending on the snow fall and temperature. There is a big snow machine trail network that connect Bethel to little, Native villages all over from the Yukon to the Bering Sea.

There is just one paved road in the city, stretching about ten miles, and it has a huge taxicab industry too. There are over 90 taxi drivers, and there are more cab drivers per capita than any city, and it makes it a weird spot to be the taxicab capital of the U.S. Most of the cab drivers are from Albania or South Korea, and they were lured to the north with anecdotes of getting free money too.

There was a pretty new addition to Bethel’s economy which is farming. It was started by a little organic farm called Meyers Farm, and food production locally has been increasing in Bethel since then. The Meyers Farm has provided organic produce to Bethel’s local population for some time.

Bethel is also where they plan to put in a proposed coal-powered power station.