When it comes to operating an airport, staying on top of infrastructure and maintenance are key to keeping operations flowing.
“On an annual basis, we as a state have to inspect the general aviation airports across the state. The federal aviation inspects the commercial aviation airports, so if there are safety issues that are found, if significant, it could close an airport down,” ND Aeronautics Commission Executive Director Kyle Wanner said.
This is why the North Dakota Aeronautics Commission works continuously to support its 89 public-use airports with different funding.
“The Aeronautics Commission met last week and allocated $9.7 million of state grants to infrastructure projects at our airports all over the state. So, those projects go to make sure that we’re maintaining our airport system and that we’re enhancing safety,” Wanner said.
Like other airports across the state, Minot International and Williston Basin International have been affected by COVID-19 as it deals with a lack of passenger revenue.
“We receive landing fee’s from airlines and fuel sales, from car rentals and restaurant business, and when we don’t have the same number of passengers coming through the terminal, that really negatively affects our ability to be able to generate revenue,” Director of Minot International Airport Rick Feltner said.
And as both are working on major projects like cargo apron expansion and drainage improvements, this only makes these funds that much greater.
“As we move into some of these smaller projects like this drainage improvement, which we received the state grant for, it allows for further development for our infrastructure, today and in the future,” Director of Williston Basin International Airport Anthony Dudas said.
Although the $9.7 million won’t make up for lost passenger revenue, it will still make for safer airports moving forward.