CRAMER: New Williston Airport to Bring Greater Services to Northwestern North Dakota
WILLISTON, N.D. – Congressman Kevin Cramer praised the city of Williston for its five years of effort to bring more modern air services to northwestern North Dakota.
He joined Williston Mayor Howard Klug, Susan Mowry-Schalk, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Great Lakes Region Airports Division Manager, Governor Jack Dalrymple, Senators John Hoeven and Heidi Heitkamp and other officials at today’s groundbreaking of the new Williston Basin International Airport.
“Today illustrates how big projects like this airport do not happen on their own,” said Cramer. “It takes a team, and everybody here has had a part in bringing this airport to the point of reaching today’s groundbreaking.”
Cramer praised the partnership of the FAA in its support of airport projects across North Dakota. “There are many federal agencies which North Dakota has varying degrees of trouble with, but the FAA is not one of them,” he said. “It is a real partner that has helped solve problems and not create them, especially here in northwestern North Dakota.”
Construction will begin in 2017 with a targeted completion date of 2018 on the airport, located northwest of Williston on County Road 7. Funding for the $240 million project includes $112 million from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), $62.5 million from the City of Williston and $56.7 million from the State of North Dakota’s Energy Impact Fund, and other sources.
Work on relocation of the Williston airport from its current location at Sloulin Field began in 2011 when city officials met with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and began feasibility, environmental and site studies. Cramer has supported the relocation efforts in Congress, reaching out to FAA Administrator Michael Huerta to communicate the need for an expanded air transportation hub in northwestern North Dakota to better meet the area’s growth and the need for larger runways to accommodate larger aircraft.
In August 2014, Cramer, along with Senators Hoeven and Heitkamp hosted Huerta in Williston to see firsthand the need for airport expansion and improvements.
Commercial air service activity in Williston has grown from fewer than 6,000 passengers in 2005 to more than 100,000 passengers in 2015. In addition to meeting greater security needs and safety standards for aircraft operations, the new airport will accommodate four jets and be capable of servicing 70- to 220-passenger aircraft.