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Theodore Roosevelt Airport sees 122 percent increase

Dickinson's Theodore Roosevelt Regional Airport saw an approximate 122 percent increase in passengers over March of 2010 according to a Thursday press release.

"That is outstanding," North Dakota Aeronautics Commission Aviation Education Coordinator Kelby Hovey said.

Airport Manager Matthew Remynse says he attributes the increase to the economic growth in the area, adding the airport has been working to expand and improve its services to accommodate the increase.

Hovey said as the number of passengers grows so does the services airlines provide.

"They want to fill seats, so if we can do that they may increase travel options."

Hovey said an example of airlines providing more service is Great Lakes Airlines making schedule changes at the Dickinson airport.

"Great Lakes Airlines has been responsive to the need and added additional flights, which means there is more seating available," Remynse said.

Though the airport is doing well, Remynse said he doesn't feel the increase in flights or seating will affect ticket prices.

"Ticket prices are determined more by outside factors such as fuel prices," Remynse said.

In an effort to address the growth the Dickinson airport is also working on a $1 million terminal expansion project. Remynse said the project will be complete in October.

"We are on schedule and on budget," Remynse said.

He added the airport will be expanding its parking lot this summer and begin design work on a hanger.

Dickinson is not the only airport to see growth.

Overall North Dakota's commercial airport boardings increased by more than 73,000 passengers over March 2010 and regional airports were up by over 4,000, North DakotaAeronautics Commission Director Larry Taborsky said.

Remynse said he is not concerned about the increase in air traffic because there are many people who work to keep track of aircraft location, landings and takeoffs.

Despite an overall increase, according to a press release, Bismarck and Fargo airports were down from last year.

Hovey agrees, but added Bismarck and Fargo's two-year average was up 18 and 27 percent respectfully.