The Federal Aviation Administration recently awarded $8.7 million dollars to the Minot International Airport.
As Jennifer Thorgramson reports, the initial grant will aid design completion and Minot could see a new terminal as early as 2014.
(Air Traffic Control Tower) "Magic City tower, this is 36099 echo. We will be in bound for a pit stop."
(Air Traffic Control Tower) "Roger, you're clear to land..."
Not long ago, Minot International Airport hosted around 5,000 passengers a month.
That number is now closer to 20,000.
Year to year: boarding's increased 33 percent in 2010, 66 percent in 2011 and 2012 is keeping pace with a 58 percent increase in boarding's this year to date.
It's clear: North Dakota is anything but grounded.
5542 (Sen. John Hoeven, (R) North Dakota) "Communities under 50,000 people, Minot is the fifth fastest growing community in the country."
5549 (Andy Solsvig, Minot International Airport Director) "It's just unpredictable what's going to happen. It continue on the same trend. It could peak. It could flatten out. That's the big question mark that we continue to monitor each month."
In the meantime, plans for Minot International Airport are built around what can be seen in the numbers now, and city, state and federal partners agree, the numbers warrant the near $100 million dollar expansion.
To put the 3D model in perspective, the gentleman standing in the parking lot marks the southwest corner of the new terminal.
The existing terminal is 34,000 square feet.
The new one will be about three times the size at 110,000 square feet.
5548(Andy Solsvig, Minot International Airport Director) "Although the building does look much larger, you have to keep in mind that we plan for 20 years out and not just five years and that's why the facility is as large as it is."
5544/5550 (Sen. John Hoeven, (R) North Dakota) "These are nice jets that are coming in here now. Bigger aircraft and better service, more service, more competition. So we've got to have this terminal."
The $8.7 million dollar grant from the Federal Aviation Administration will be put to work immediately to finish the taxiway charlie project underway, finish the terminal design project now 40 percent complete and a new snow removal building.
5545 (Sen. John Hoeven, (R) North Dakota) "This touches everybody in this community. And not just in this community, look at the parking lot, there's a licence plate from almost every state."
North Dakota is already on the radar.
And the airport expansion project is $8.7 million dollars closer to take off.
In Minot, Jennifer Thorgramson, KX News.
Plans for the existing terminal have not been decided.
$8.7 million is a drop-in-the-bucket for the nearly $100 million dollar expansion project taking place, but Senator John Hoeven is working to secure continued FAA support.