Up, up and away, airport has a record yearA switch in flight schedules seems to have made a big difference at the Dickinson Municipal Airport.
By: John Odermann, The Dickinson Press
A switch in flight schedules seems to have made a big difference at the Dickinson Municipal Airport.
Plane boarding at the airport set a record for 2008 and the December numbers were up 60 percent over the same month a year ago, Airport Manager Matthew Remynse reported to the Dickinson Airport Authority at its regular meeting Tuesday.
On Dec. 18, the Dickinson Airport began flying an up-line route to Sidney, Mont. instead of Williston, which Remynse said has been the difference maker.
“I figured we’d be up 15 percent. I never imagined 60 percent,” Remynse said. “If you look at it from the 18th on, our daily enplanements are way up. This came from the Sidney change.”
In the month of December the Dickinson airport boarded 956 passengers. During the same month in 2007 the airport boarded 597 passengers. Remynse said there was one day in December when 74 passengers boarded planes at the airport.
“If seats are available people are grabbing them,” Authority chairman Tom Reichert said. “Williston had so much demand, it was just hard to compete with them.”
Over the course of the year, 8,829 passengers boarded planes at the Dickinson Airport, a 16 percent increase over last year, which is the second-best increase in the state, Remynse said.
In other business, after 14 years as the chairman of the Dickinson Airport Authority Board, Reichert has decided to step down.
Reichert informed the board he would rather the board appointed someone else to be chairman.
“I think it’s time for somebody else to take over the leadership and introduce some new ideas and a new style,” Reichert said.
Reichert has been the chairman of the board since 1994 and will continue to sit as a commissioner for the foreseeable future. Reichert’s current term on the board ends in 2013.
Jon Frantsvog was elected as the new chairman, Robert Zent will be vice chairman and Craig Steve will serve as secretary and treasurer.
In other business:
* Due to a possible eminent domain issue with land near the airport, the board chose to select City Attorney Matt Kolling and his firm Mackoff Kellogg to represent the board in the event that action needs to be taken.
* The board decided Reichert and Remynse would be retained as authorized signatories and the new officers, Frantsvog, Steve and Krug would be added as signatories for payroll and other payables.
* The board approved amendments to its 2008 budget. Items such as fuel costs came in below budget because of higher than expected fuel prices.
* The board agreed to purchase snow guards to prevent snow from falling off of the buildings at the airport as snow has had a tendency to accumulate and then fall in mass quantities from the roofs.
* Discussion of various grants Remynse is working on to fund projects at the airport, including lighting for the driveways.
* Remynse presented the board with a rendering of what a proposed expansion to the airport terminal would look like. The expansion would add 5,000 sq. ft. to the existing terminal and cost $2.1 million according to current estimates, but it is currently only in the discussion stage and nothing is nailed down, Remynse said.
* Remynse presented the draft airport wildlife plan, which outlines how the airport should deal with the various wildlife that finds its way onto airport property.
* An airport strategic planning meeting is schedule for Jan. 26.