WILLISTON — The new Williston Basin International Airport held its media tour today allowing KX News a first-hand look of the nearly 300 million dollar project.
City officials said they believe this will open up many opportunities.
After a few years of construction, the airport is finally complete.
“The economic impact of having a facility of this magnitude were not just for leisure travel, but also for business eCommerce. It’s a huge thing for the region,” said David Tuan, city administrator of Williston.
The $275 million dollar project is the largest piece of infrastructure ever incorporated into Williston.
Creating a new opportunity to serve all of western North Dakota and Montana as well as flights from, and to, Canada and other countries.
International flights are something Sloulin Field International Airport could not do.
“So people currently who were used to maybe the facility that had limitations now, smaller, were having to travel to get those flights to hard to reach places, they can now do that here,” said Tuan.
Not only was Sloulin Field inconvenient for most international flights, but the safety issues also raised concern as well.
“Everything that revolves around the safety standards that an airport has to abide by aren’t met at Slolin Field, so really, it was a case of are we going to build a new airport on Slolin Fields property or in a Green Field sight,” said Anthony Dudas, airport director.
The new Williston airport includes full-service restaurants open to the public, as well as a 103,000 square foot terminal that has passenger boarding bridges, eliminating outdoor plane boarding. Something Dudas said they can grow from in the future.
“Accommodate what we have today, but also with the ability to grow as additional air service comes to our community and as our needs arise,” said Dudas.
The mayor of Williston, Howard Klug, plans to open the airport to the public on Saturday at the ribbon-cutting.
The first flight is set to land on Oct. 10 from Denver around 10:50 a.m.