ND Oil Boom Fuels Airport Boom: New Records Are Set Every Month With September Gains of 60-90%
BISMARCK (AP) - "Airports in western North Dakota's booming oil patch are setting new passenger boarding records nearly every month and need tens of millions of dollars to invest in terminals, parking and runway upgrades, the state's aeronautics commissioner said.
Dickinson, Williston and Minot airports have set airline boarding records nearly each month for the past three years, said Larry Taborsky. "The airports are full and getting to the extreme point. Bigger runways are needed to support bigger planes and more facilities are needed for passengers," he said.
Dickinson boarded 89 percent more passengers in September than it did in September 2010, and Williston saw an 87 percent jump. "Williston is way beyond capacity and parking lots are now spilling out on to the grass," Taborsky said. "Dickinson is the same way."
The year-on-year September jump at Minot's airport was slightly lower, at 61 percent, but it experienced the biggest increase in actual passengers boarded, 5,087 more, among the state's eight commercial and regional airports."