Minot International Airport will soon begin removing vegetation that attracts wildlife after state officials approved an environmental assessment of the area.

The assessment needs to be completed every 10 years and was concluded this week. This allows officials to forward the report for approval.

Airport officials want to remove wildlife that threatens flight safety. The assessment is needed to help minimize damage to wildlife and their habitat.

Environmental Specialist, Erik Carlson said the project is “necessary because of the potential of wildlife to impact the safety of the aircraft on-site due to the presence of wetlands at the airport vicinity.”

Scheduled to begin early next year, the project is expected to last until the summer. More than 23 acres of drainage and vegetation that attract wildlife will be removed.

In the process, some taxi runways will be closed temporarily but airport officials say this will not impact flights or airport activities.

They said there are ways to mitigate that problem to ensure airplanes taxi to the end of the runway.

Airport Director Jennifer Eckman said pilots can also “back taxi off the runway or they can use an alternative route” at the airport.

The project will cost about $8 million and contractors are obliged to minimize impact on wildlife and preserve any cultural findings.