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More federal funding OK’d for new Williston airport

WILLISTON -- The Federal Aviation Administration awarded $26 million in additional federal funding to the city of Williston to support the construction of a new airport, it was announced Thursday.

WILLISTON -- The Federal Aviation Administration awarded $26 million in additional federal funding to the city of Williston to support the construction of a new airport, it was announced Thursday.

The funding is in addition to the $27 million Sloulin Field International Airport received for the project last year.

Since 2007, the annual number of enplanements at Williston Airport ballooned from 7,800 to 120,900 in 2014. Despite this growth, the airport is accommodating 50-passenger regional jets but no larger – severely limiting the community’s ability to grow and causing stress and degradation on a runway originally designed for 30-passenger turbo props.

Also some airports, like Sloulin Field, are unable to grow their current facilities because of various constraints.

U.S. Sens. Heidi Heitkamp and John Hoeven made the announcement of the funding.

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“As the demand for air travel in North Dakota changes, it’s critical that our communities have the ability to adapt and accommodate the needs of the community and visitors,” said Heitkamp.

Hoeven added, “Williston’s new airport is a vital piece of transportation infrastructure for the entire region. We’re working hard to secure funding and advance this project because this expansion and relocation project will have tremendous economic impact and help support long-term growth in Williston and western North Dakota.

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