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Dickinson airport boardings to increase, manager says

Passenger boardings at Theodore Roosevelt Regional Airport in Dickinson continue to rise and the facility’s manager said the trend is expected to continue.

Matthew Remynse said Thursday at a Dickinson Airport Authority Commission meeting he anticipates boarding totals to skyrocket this spring, even though the airport’s numbers for January rose 177 percent when compared with the same month in 2013.

“From now through May, we’re going to see large increases,” Remynse told the commission. “This is where we started to go downhill in 2013, because of the service added in Williston. We’re going to start seeing increases of 1,000 to 1,400 (boardings) per month through these five months. We’re going to have some 4,000- and 5,000-(passenger) months.”

Largely because of the addition of flights from major carriers United and Delta in 2013, the Dickinson airport witnessed a huge increase in passengers from January 2013 to January 2014 as it welcomed 3,742 people last month, an increase of 1,350 the previous January, according to statistics released by the North Dakota Aeronautics Commission this week.

The airport recorded just 556 boardings for the month of January just four years ago in 2010. This year in January the Dickinson airport was the fifth-most-used in North Dakota, trailing only Fargo (36,898 boardings), Bismarck (19,445), Minot (16,819), Grand Forks (11,108) and Williston (8,058).

The airport is expected to get an additional bump April 1 for United and June 1 for Delta when both major carriers are expected to add a third round-trip flight out of Dickinson to accommodate the expected increase in usage due to the oil boom.

United’s additional flight is expected to start in April while Delta is aiming for June, though the new flights could be offered just two or three days per week, Remynse said.

“It’s not going to be a daily third round trip,” he said. “It sounds like it’s only going to be Wednesday through Friday. It’s going to be on the heavy days. I think there will be a third round (United) trip on Sundays and then Thursdays and Fridays, but I haven’t heard from Delta yet.”

Bryan Horwath
A Wisconsin native, Horwath has been covering news in the Oil Patch of North Dakota since 2012. Horwath currently serves as the senior agriculture and political reporter for The Dickinson Press and, despite the team's tendency to always let him down, remains a diehard Minnesota Vikings fan.
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