Northway, AK is considered a gateway to Alaska for small aircraft following the Alaska Highway because that is where they must land to clear customs unless they have enough fuel to continue on to Fairbanks or Anchorage non-stop. Most pilots do not have enough range to do that, considering that no aviation fuel is available between Whitehorse, YT and Tok, AK.
Northway has a Flight Service Station (FSS) on the airport which provides Local Airport Advisory (LAA) service to aircraft arriving and departing. This FSS is normally open seasonally May to September. There are very few services at Northway. The Lodge closed permanently July 1, 2010 so there is currently no lodging, food or fuel available. After clearing customs, most aircraft refuel at Tok Junction Airport which is 36 nautical miles further. Tok is still a small town, but they do have several motels and restaurants. Keep in mind, however, customs is not available in Tok, you still need to land at Northway to clear customs if you are coming in from Canada.
Customs and border protection agents provide customs service at Northway, however they are not on the field unless they are expecting an aircraft. They drive up from the border, which takes about 1 hour. Keep in mind that you are required to stay in the aircraft until they arrive. Pilots sometimes like to add extra time into their flight plan for unexpected delays, but you may not want to do that in this case, because we often pass the flight plan ETA to customs and it sometimes results in pilots waiting in their aircraft for the agent to arrive. Just be sure to update your ETA en-route if you are running late.
If you are flying to or from Canada and are landing in Canada, make sure you file your arrival and departure information electronically in eAPIS (Electronic Advance Passenger Information System). Some pilots assume that they do not have to call on the phone since they are filing electronically and that is not true. You are still required to call the border station to coordinate your arrival at Northway in addition to filing electronically. Check the latest Supplement Alaska for the phone number and other details.