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Airport identifies potential capital improvement projects

Theodore Roosevelt Regional Airport officials are identifying potential capital improvement projects to tackle in the future. Airport Manager Kelly Braun provided an early list of potential project areas at Tuesday's meeting of the airport's boar...

Theodore Roosevelt Regional Airport has received $9.8 million in USDOT funds for its upcoming runway expansion project, and is eligible for another $3.6 million in ND Energy Infrastructure and Impact office funds. (Brandon L. Summers / The Dickinson Press)
Theodore Roosevelt Regional Airport officials Tuesday identified several capital improvement project areas for the future, including the airport's terminal, parking lot and security. (Brandon L. Summers / The Dickinson Press)

Theodore Roosevelt Regional Airport officials are identifying potential capital improvement projects to tackle in the future.

Airport Manager Kelly Braun provided an early list of potential project areas at Tuesday's meeting of the airport's board.

"I just wanted to get everybody primed with what we're looking at," Braun said. "This will be coming back to you throughout the year in bits and pieces."

KLJ, a Dickinson-based engineering firm, is working with the airport to put together a capital improvement plan, Braun said.

"We usually have a CIP for state-funded and federal-funded projects, and we'll want to put a CIP together for stuff we need to do locally," he said.

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One area of focus is the terminal's United Airlines ticket counter.

"When United and Delta were operating here we needed that additional counter space," Braun said. "Now that Delta's pulled out, and it doesn't appear they're going to be coming back, we looked at that United counter."

This dovetails with a request from Transportation Security Administration officials for a greater baggage screening area.

A slight remodeling of the space would resolve both issues.

"The area they have is very tight," Braun said. "Get 50 bags in there and two or three people screening those bags, it's tough to move around."

Also a concern is a double-wide trailer, used as a passenger boarding gate, that either needs to be maintained or removed.

The trailer is in poor condition, with a weak floor of simple tile that has had to be repatched, Braun said.

Its location also impacts airport ground operations.

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"When they load and unload bags, they bring carts and stuff around that double-wide," he said. "It's really tight behind there. It hinders their ability to get bags in and out easily."

The terminal's lighting has also reached the end of its serviceable life, Braun said.

"It's really become a maintenance headache," he said. "The lights in there are high-pressure sodium lights. They don't give off great light. They consume a lot of energy."

A lighting study suggested replacing the bulbs with modern LEDs. It would cost roughly $20,000 to replace the 19 fixtures, Braun said, but would yield savings.

Facility security also needs to be improved.

"The number of hours the airport terminal is closed and locked, we really don't have any security in place," Braun said. "The sheriff's department does roving patrols when they can, but I think it would behoove us to install a closed circuit security system."

New equipment is also needed.

Braun requested a new zero-turn lawnmower, as the airport's John Deere F1145 has "seen better days." A new lawnmower would cost roughly $15,000.

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The airport's Ford Expedition, used for airport operations, is also on its last legs.

"(The truck)'s got some pretty serious issues." Braun said. "Ideally, it would be nice to get two, but at a minimum we're going to need one."

A more completed plan will be presented later, and include priorities and funding sources.

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