Alaska Airlines’ new hangar incorporates the latest Megadoor Technology

The latest Megadoor technology has provided the Alaska Airlines hangar in Anchorage, Alaska, a five part Megadoor system with optimal cold weather performance and energy efficiency.

ASSA ABLOY Entrance Systems (AAES) is proud to have supplied Alaska Airlines a 281’ x 45’ five part Megadoor system for their new two bay, narrow body, hangar in Anchorage. 

The $50 million state-of-the-art building more than doubles the size of their original ’50s-era hangar. The old hangar was unable to accommodate the Next Generation aircraft. The new facility, spanning 100,000 ft² (3,048 m), will be able to house two 737-Max 9 aircraft in an efficient climate controlled environment.

In order to perform line maintenance cost effectively, the facility and systems must be reliable and energy efficient to control the indoor climate. During the early planning stages, Jason Gamache, Director of Sustainability and Principal Architect at McCool, Carlson, Green (MCG) understood that the hangar door system would be a critical choice for Alaska Airlines. Hangar doors play an important role in energy efficiency, and their reliability in winter weather ensures planes depart for their gates on schedule.


After the tour, David Boyce, Anchorage Regional Line Maintenance Manager, Alaska Airlines, saw the value of the energy efficiency and cold weather reliability offered by the vertical lifting Megadoor. Additionally, he appreciated the fact that Megadoors did not require the large rail systems in the floor. These rail systems are a nuisance because they require routine cleaning, heating and drainage.

However, before David would recommend Megadoors for the new hangar, he wanted a system that did not require the manual opening and closing of the mullion floor pit covers that he saw on the existing doors at ANC. He also wanted a flush, clean, door threshold. Therefore, AAES proposed its retractable mullion pin option with its new, spring-loaded pit cover. Since 2001, AAES has been supplying the Megadoor retractable mullion pin option which uses a linear actuator to extend and retract a pin at the base of each mullion which transfers horizontal wind loads into the concrete floor.

Cold Weather Performance

Megadoor understands that if a door does not open when required, it can delay aircraft departure times with huge financial consequences. Since 1987 over one hundred Megadoors have been installed in Alaska earning them the reputation as the best cold weather door on the market for large openings. Megadoor systems operate vertically, so they do not need floor tracks, (required by bottom rolling doors), which commonly fill with ice during winter months which hinders their operation. Ice does not accumulate on the Megadoor exterior surface as it does on conventional doors, because as the door fabric flexes in the wind or folds during operation, the ice simply flakes off. The Megadoor will not freeze to the ground like other door systems which can damage them if forced open while locked in ice.

Energy Efficiency

With over one hundred Arctic installations, the Megadoor has proven to be the most energy efficient hangar door in the world. With its demonstrably superior seals, the Megadoor reduces air leakage more than any other door which is crucial since 80% of energy loss on a closed hangar door is attributed to air infiltration around poor seals. In addition, the vertically operating Megadoor systems are faster than other hangar systems, enabling Alaska Airlines to quickly open and close a Megadoor for aircraft movements. This minimizes the loss of conditioned air and keeps the technicians comfortable and accountants happy.