Airport Reaches Milestone - KMOT.COM - Minot, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Airport Reaches Milestone

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For the past 18 months, Minot International Airport has been working to develop plans and secure funding for a new airport terminal. And, after months of planning, today was the big day.  The airport is finally moving forward with its plans.

"More flights, fewer hassles," is the motto they try to carry out at Minot International Airport.  But, with all of the growth in western North Dakota, it has become more difficult to live out.  In 2012 alone, boardings at Minot International increased by 50 percent.

"It's been a roller coaster," says airport director Andy Solsvig. "Nobody could have predicted what's been happening here."

For the past two years, the airport staff has worked closely with state and local officials, as well as contractors to develop a new airport terminal fit for a growing community.

"This new airport terminal will be a gateway to that growth," says Mayor Curt Zimbelman.

"The impression you get when you arrive in a city, the first thing you do is kind of grade their airport. And we're looking forward to being able to say we got a beautiful terminal right here in Minot," explains North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple.

But, in order for this $40.3 million to become a reality, Minot needed some financial help.

"The state of North Dakota is going to put in directly $18.5 million, $13.7 million from the City of Minot, and $8.1 million in federal [funds] in order to launch this terminal," says Governor Dalrymple.

The 115,000 square foot building will house six gates and four jet bridges with the ability to expand and grow if needed.

Two years from now, the current terminal will be considered the old terminal.  But, with the new project underway, they hope to make navigating around the airport loop easier for travelers.

"People are going to be proud of it," says Solsvig.

"[The new terminal is] something that is going to be a source of great pride and it really going to change, I think, the whole image and the whole way people view this community and this region of the state," says Governor Dalrymple.

But, as Mayor Zimbelman explains, like all projects, there will be some growing pains.

"Yes, it will take a little bit of travel times during construction.  And, yes, parking will be difficult at times.  But, in the end, this terminal will represent a proud city that's eager to take on challenges and welcomes growth and expansion."

Solsvig says the airport hopes to have the new terminal completed by the fall of 2015. 

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