Williston Airport Plans - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Williston Airport Plans

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Airports in North Dakota broke the one million mark for passengers in 2012.

It was a record year for the state as a whole, and for many individual airports.

That includes Williston's Sloulin Field, where plans are underway to expand and, perhaps, relocate.

Gary Brode has the story.

At the Sloulin Field International Airport there has been a lot more of this...

and this...

and this...

That's why Williston and the FAA are looking into a new plan for the Williston Airport.

The two options the FAA must decide from are expansion or relocation.

Each option will cost roughly 100 to 150 million dollars.

The expansion plan will relocate the MDU transmission line, municipal golf course and proposed pipelines north of the airport.

The relocation plan has been three potential sites.

(Steven Kjergaard, Airport Manager) "The relocation sites are all approximately five to six miles to the Northwest of the current site. Two are very close to each other and very close to the permanent truck bypass and temporary truck bypass to west and north of the city. The third one is a little bit further North but its closer to an 85. They are all within 15 to 20 minutes driving time on a bad day from the city of Williston."

The terminal was built to hold a 30 passenger airliner operation, so as you could imagine, it can be a struggle to keep up with the demands of 76 passengers per day - everyday.

(Steven Kjergaard, Airport Manager) "We increased by ten-thousand. We anticipate to increase to somewhere between 60 and 90 thousand enplanements this year."

(Gary Brode, KX Reporter) "From 2006 to 2012 there's been a 577 percent increase in passenger enplanement. That's the most of any airport in North Dakota. Now I spoke with a few citizens who are also workers of the airport and the more than welcome the idea."

(Donald Egge, Airport Employee) "With the increased volume of traffic we've got, there's more traffic to come here as we expand and Williston grows. We've outgrown our terminal right now. We do need a bigger facility."

The FAA may be able to contribute anywhere between 35 and 50 million dollars to assist in either option over the next several years.

The pros and cons of each option will be weighed in order to determine the important questions...

(Steven Kjergaard, Airport Manager) "What is the best option for this city and community and what will be the most effective solution in the end?"

Gary Brode, KX News.

The plan is expected to be chosen sometime in the spring of this year.

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