Watford City Airport Busy | VideoChris Williams | 9/27/2012
Two years ago the airport in Watford City had about ten flights a week. Now, it`s not unusual to have fifteen a day. With so many planes coming and going, airport management is doing its best to keep up.
"Our biggest challenge is to upgrade infrastructure if you will to accommodate the influx of people mainly due to the oil field," said airport manager Tim Taylor.
Before the oil boom, it was mostly single engine planes that used the airport. Now, the planes coming in keep getting bigger.
"Were getting larger aircraft. As you see behind me, there`s two larger twins that are sitting here, were getting a lot of those in now. We`re getting jet aircraft in," added Taylor.
To help house so many planes the airport is undergoing a few changes. A new parking ramp is being added, and the 35 year old terminal is being updated. But that`s not all.
"We`re also adding a taxi lane to be able to accommodate, about nine additional hangars for people who want to base air planes here," Taylor added.
Airplanes aren`t the only thing on the rise here at the Watford City Airport. They`re also seeing a big increase in money, and that`s thanks to a recent purchase.
"In January we installed a 12,000 gallon jet fuel tank, which is come in very handy because a lot of the airplanes that come in now are jets or turbo prop type airplanes," added Taylor.
Watford City and McKenzie County helped the airport purchase the new tank, but they are also receiving some federal aid.
"The airport reconstruction the apron reconstruction and the terminal type things we are going to FAA helps us a lot with that. The state of North Dakota Aeronautics commission," said Taylor.
Taylor is making all these changes to stay ahead of the game.
"We`re keeping up as best we can we`re trying to keep moving forward and add the things that we need to take care of the basic needs of these pilots."
That`s quite a lot, considering that just two years ago, the Watford City airport had 10 planes on a busy week.