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The U.S. Coast Guard recently closed and abandoned (I think) their Loran station on Attu Island, Alaska. Is it possible to legally visit Attu now? Is there any red tape involved? Is the airport open to the public, or do you need to go by boat?

Attau Island stock photo
Attu island o Donnell valley by Sekora, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, found on public-domain-image.com.

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3 Answers

up vote 7 down vote accepted

Yes, it's still legal to go there, but before visiting, you should check with the US Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) and US Coast Guard (USCG) before. I don't know if USFWS requires any permits for a private citizen to visit, but I believe USCG does require that you receive permission before going on their land. There are areas with unexploded ordinance, so at the very least, that's a good reason for checking in with them. (Most of the land is under the stewardship of the USFWS, but some of the land around Massacre Bay is still under the USCG even though have abandoned the Loran station.)

And yes, to repeat the previous answer, it's not possible to fly there anymore. The only way to go is boat. I've chartered a boat and took a group of birdwatchers there in 2010 and trying it again in 2012 -- it's a commercial venture so I had to get permits from USFWS. It's tough finding a boat that can do it for a reasonable price.

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Thanks for the info! –  xpda Sep 22 '11 at 5:28
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You are right about having to take a boat. Be careful, very rough waters, Bearing Sea, Japanese current. I lived there for three years, WELL worth a visit.

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Welcome to Travel.SE. Could you elaborate? What boat company? Did you need anything else? –  Mark Mayo Oct 19 '12 at 18:48
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Reeve Airlines used to operate there until 2000, in the infamous 'Reever' plane. Sadly now the only way I can find is by charter boat.

And Wiki Answers agrees.

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