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5 developers will present pitches for new Williston airport; city seeking $120M from FAA

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WILLISTON, North Dakota — A committee working toward a new airport in Williston will hear pitches from five developers that want to design the facility.

The panel received 10 applications, according to Williston Economic Development Executive Director Shawn Wenko. Five of those have been invited to interview.

The three-person committee is doubling in size for the interview process. Wenko, Mayor Howard Klug, Planning Director Kent Jarcik, Airport Manager Steven Kjergaard, City Engineer Bob Hanson and Public Works Director David Tuan will serve.

Williston officials are considering a $250 million airport at a site 11 miles northwest of the oil patch hub. The city has asked for $120 million from the Federal Aviation Administration for the project, and will go to the state once federal funding has been approved, the Williston Herald reported (http://bit.ly/1E9dJdO ).

Traffic and passenger boardings have boomed at Williston's Sloulin Field International Airport along with oil development in the region in recent years. Regional jet service is available to Minneapolis, Denver and Houston.

Boardings at Sloulin last year surpassed 100,000 passengers for the first time, according to the North Dakota Aeronautics Commission. The airport was designed to handle only one-tenth of that traffic.

Williston passenger numbers in 2014 were up 23 percent from 2013. Boardings last year were 14 times higher than they were in 2007, before the current oil boom.


Information from: Williston Herald, http://www.willistonherald.com

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