Airport Terminal Projected for Fall '16 Finish - - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Airport Terminal Projected for Fall '16 Finish

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Record boardings continue at the Minot International Airport.

Numbers for March were the highest on record for that month.

And now construction work is underway on a new facility to handle the crowds.

The multi-million dollar project will soon replace the current facility that was only meant to handle 100-thousand travelers leaving Minot a year.

Last year, about 222-thousand flew out from Minot.

The new terminal will be able to handle about 300-thousand.

Perry Olson has a look at the work, what it will look like, and when airport manager Andy Solsvig thinks it will be ready for flyers.

 The ground work is underway...four to eight weeks of foundation work has started here on North Hill.

(Andy Solsvig - Minot Airport Manager) "Once that is ready to go the steel will start to be erected."

And then it is off and running -- or maybe I should say flying -- this project has an aggressive timeline, but one that Andy Solsvig feels can be accomplished. The contract calls for work to be complete by the end of 2016...but...

(Andy Solsvig - Minot Airport Manager) "I feel that we should be able to get it completed by October. That doesn't mean that we will be able to open in October however, my goal is to open the terminal sometime in early November so we are ready to go and functioning before the holiday season."

And when open what a facility it will be. Five gates compared to two now -- much more counter space for airlines -- TSA checkpoints not crammed in -- and much larger area beyond security. A modern airport for a city booming with air travel.

(Andy Solsvig - Minot Airport Manager) "It will be three times the size of what we have now and it will be a gem in western North Dakota."

One question still outstanding -- will there be a parking garage? Solsvig says if so, it would go here -- directly in front of the terminal. But, with a pprice tag already nearing 80 million...adding that may be too much..

(Andy Solsvig - Minot Airport Manager) "We would love to have it, but we also need to be conscious of our financial situation because there is already so much money being put into the capital projects that we have."

Garage or not -- the Minot International Airport will soon be something to handle the record crowds...and open up the possibility of luring more airlines to the state.

(Andy Solsvig - Minot Airport Manager) "This building is going to be beautiful."

In Minot, Perry Olson, KX News. 

Solsvig says the terminal will instantly become a selling point for Minot when it comes to landing other airlines and destinations -- and bigger jets as well.

He says talks are already underway with air carriers about adding service to other destinations once the new terminal is up and running.

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