10 YEARS AGO

Sept. 14, 2011 — A Shell executive who oversees exploration in Alaska said Tuesday he’s “very, very optimistic” the oil giant will begin large-scale off-shore drilling in the Arctic Ocean in 2012.

Pete Slaiby, Shall Alaska’s vice president for exploration and appraisal, said the company hopes to drill as many as five wells in the Chukchi Sea and Beaufort Sea next year.

25 YEARS AGO

Sept. 14, 1996 — The combination of bad weather and runway construction is subjecting Fairbanks air traffic to Juneau-style flight disruptions. “Murphy’s Law has brought us to this point,” said Doyle Ruff, manager of Fairbanks International Airport. “We’re right down to the apex of our paving project. When the trucks are out there, our (instrument landing) signals are not reliable. So that’s where we get caught.”

For the moment, he said, pilots cannot depend solely on their instruments for landings at Fairbanks International, where minimum altitudes have been raised for making visual contact with the runway during an approach. Poor visibility is making that difficult, resulting in flyovers and in some cases diversions to other landing sites.

50 YEARS AGO

Sept. 14, 1971 — WASHINGTON — Senate-House conferees agreed today to a bill provision that would postpone a scheduled five-megaton nuclear warhead underground explosion in Alaska unless President Nixon gave his direct approval.In approving a compromise public works appropriation bill, the conferees accepted a Senate provision to forbid the explosion before May 31, 1972, “unless the President gives his direct approval.”

The Atomic Energy Commission has planned the Cannikin experiment in the Aleutian Islands of Alaska for some time next month. The experiment is designed to test the warhead of the Spartan missile, a part of the Safeguard Antiballistic Missile System.

75 YEARS AGO

Sept. 14, 1946 — KETCHIKAN — Alaska’s American Legion convention has endorsed by a 64 to 14 vote the proposal of statehood for the Territory.

Another resolution asked the National Legion to demand maintenance of all air bases in Alaska for immediate use if needed. The Legionnaires also asked the National Legion to send a field worker to Alaska to combat un-American activities and requested public agencies to weed out immigrants heading for Alaska without housing arrangements, funds or employment.