Travel permits needed to come to town and the region
Travelers arriving in Nome by jet need to have their ducks in line. As passengers enter the Alaska Airlines terminal in Nome, they are met by representatives of the City of Nome, one EMT and one Nome police officer, who check the required travel permits.
“As people are coming down the walkway and leaving the airport we’re asking them quite detailed questions,” said Rose Reale, who was recently hired as an Emergency Services Technician by the City. She is an EMT 2. “Why they need their permits, why we need to see them, and why we ask that they fill them out. It’s about looking out for people. We’re not trying to infringe on anyone’s rights. We just want to be able to get ahold of somebody in case they were exposed to anything,” she said.
So far only one individual has been put back on the jet for not having his papers in order. He was wearing a t-shirt and carrying a backpack and said he needed to go to Wal-Mart and wanted to explore Nome.
There are no controls when passenger board the plane in Anchorage. Anybody can get on the airplane, but when people get to Nome they have to have the proper permit from the City of Nome.
“People have been really cooperative,” said Reale. “If they’re coming off the plane and they are coughing or they look ill then I would politely ask them ‘maybe we should check your temperature.’”
The Essential Air Travel Services Use Permit must be filled out 72 hours before flying to Nome. It asks detailed questions about where the individual has been and where they are going. Each traveler must submit their self-quarantine plan and the document requires the signature of Nome’s city manager.
“I’m working with organizations to get people on the plane and get them home,” said City Manager Glenn Steckman. “This is because of a number of situations.” Every Alaska Air passenger plane is met by city representatives. “There’s a declaration that you need to have a travel permit into the City of Nome and if you don’t there could be a fine. We try persuasion without the use of law.”
“We’re still having problems with those in federal employment who don’t think they need a permit,” said Steckman. “We’re working with their supervisors to get through this.”
The state’s Office of Children’s Services is not sending anybody to Nome because they wouldn’t agree to quarantine when they came here. “There is a lot more than the public is seeing in our interactions with our permit holders. Permit holders are denied every day. We recontact them and go through it, and some people just decide they don’t want to do it and they withdraw their permit. The plane is met each day.”
People traveling from the villages to Nome also need an essential air travel permit. “Bering Air will not let people travel unless they have a permit from the City of Nome,” said Steckmann.
Find the paperwork online at https://www.nomealaska.org/