The airline says it’s installing a $7 million roof coating on its Kodiak, Alaska, air traffic control center, after it became clear that the region had a problem with a potentially deadly airborne fungus.
Air Alaska spokesman David Sussman says the company will install the coating at the air traffic controller’s headquarters, located in Kodiak’s airfield.
The company will also install a new air traffic system at the center, which is used to monitor flights and take control of aircraft.
The company’s first-class service, which has been grounded for the last two weeks, resumed on Thursday, Sussmann says.
The problem is in part because the weather in Kodias airspace has been too warm, with temperatures in the 40s or 50s, and the air quality has been poor, according to Sussmans research.
Sussman also said the problem could be traced to the fungus that has become airborne in Kodiaks airspace.
Air Alaskans were warned in August to wear face masks and cover up when working at the airport.
Sudden outbreaks of airborne fungus are rare.
Sussons research found only a handful of cases of airborne fungi in Alaska during the summer of 2012.
But in January, he said, there were more than 300 reported cases in the Alaska wilderness.
Silliman says Air Alaska has installed air traffic systems in Kodiack and the neighboring village of Bismarck.
The air traffic center is one of three facilities at Kodiak that use the airfield’s facilities.