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New runway in the sights for Dickinson airport

The Dickinson Airport Authority board debated the prospect of a new runway at the Dickinson Theodore Roosevelt Regional Airport during its regular meeting Thursday.

The Dickinson Airport Authority board debated the prospect of a new runway at the Dickinson Theodore Roosevelt Regional Airport during its regular meeting Thursday.

The board commented multiple times that the airport’s runway had been heavily run down with air traffic during the oil boom.

Kyle Wanner, director of the North Dakota Aeronautics Commission, attended the meeting after touring the airport earlier in the day.

“I think it all comes down to timing, and the amount of funding available for the project,” he said.

The project would require the airport to convert its taxiway into another runway as the old one is redone, which the the board have dubbed a “super taxiway.”

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Wanner estimated the Federal Aviation Administration would be able to fund two phases of the super taxiway, and two or three phases of the runway project.

He predicted it would be around 2021 or 2022 when a project like that would reach completion.

Wanner said if the airport was able to court state funding, the project would come about sooner. However, he said there was no guarantee of this, especially with low oil prices directly affecting state income.

“We need to prepare for another scenario that, if state funding doesn’t come, what’s the plan?” he said.

Airport Authority Chairman Jon Frantsvog said the board had used a “substantial” amount of energy to put together two master plans that accounted for different funding scenarios.

“It becomes the argument that we hear over and over again, that the eastern side of the state refuses to hear, that the crap got kicked out of western North Dakota’s infrastructure, and we need to put it back together,” Frantsvog said.

Board member Scott Decker said he felt the state Legislature had money to give, but it believed Dickinson and the surrounding area didn’t need as much funding now that the oil activity here has slowed down, along with traffic.

“We need it now to fix our stuff,” Decker said.

Related Topics: DICKINSON
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