Pilots and commercial air travelers will have a brand new destination in Williston as of October.
That’s when commercial flights will stop flying to “ISN” and begin landing at “XWA.”
That’s the official FAA designation of the new Williston Basin International Airport.
Jim Olson got a behind-the-scenes tour of the 250-million dollar facility today.
Fog shrouded the passenger terminal taking shape at Williston Basin International Airport. But the airport director’s view of this quarter-billion dollar project is crystal clear.
(Anthony Dudas, Williston Airport Director) “It truly is looking like an airport now – it’s exciting to be a part of.”
Anthony Dudas started the director’s job just as construction got going on the brand new airport early last year. And he’s constantly amazed at what’s growing out of the prairie northwest of Williston.
(Anthony Dudas, Williston Airport Director) “It’s truly amazing to see everything that’s going on out here. Every time I come out here, even during these colder months, things are different. The terminal – it’s getting enclosed – that wasn’t even happening yesterday when I was out here.”
So, join us as we take a quick tour inside the new terminal – the centerpiece of the airport.
(Anthony Dudas, Williston Airport Director) “This entire area will be mostly glass…”
That’s what customers will see as the drive up to the building – and if they’re passengers, they’ll head upstairs.
(Anthony Dudas, Williston Airport Director) “We will have the only escalators in Williston, North Dakota…”
The escalator will whisk patrons to the second floor – where they’ll get ready to begin their flight.
(Anthony Dudas, Williston Airport Director) “This is the entire concourse, we’ll have three passenger boarding bridges out here…”
There’ll be a full restaurant, gift shop and lots more inside here. Speaking of inside, it won’t be long until workers have the building closed off to the elements and can get to work making it look like an airport.
(Anthony Dudas, Williston Airport Director) “It’s going to be an extremely busy spring and all the way through the opening date of October 10, 2019.”
And when that happens, the contractor in charge of the transition from the current ISN to the new XWA say it will be a first in American aviation in over 20 years.
(Scott Vriesman, Transition Consultant) “The first airport since Denver Stapelton that has been moved to a brand new airport.”
(Anthony Dudas, Williston Airport Director) “We feel really good. We’re basically building a small city out here on the prairie.”
A small city that’s shceduled to open in 314 days. In Williston, Jim Olson, KX News.
Airport Director Dudas says the transition to the new XWA will be the fastest such move of a commercial airport since World War Two.