Wanner said a total of $21.2 million was given by the state to Minot for the new terminal and other projects. The airport also received $8 million in federal funds. The terminal alone is budgeted to cost $41 million.
"This will get the relief valve flowing for airports in western North Dakota," Wanner said. "There are a lot of challenges at these airports right now."
Wanner said Minot had been unable to allow additional flights but now Williston and Dickinson are able to take some of those passengers.
The state appropriated $60 million of oil tax money for the bienium to airports in oil impacted counties. Of that, $28 million has been awarded.
Dickinson plans to apply for $4 million next year to pay for a larger general aviation ramp, environmental assessments for expanding airport facilities and lengthening and strengthening the runway, Remynse said.
Wanner said the addition of regional jet service has been a "great benefit" to western towns.
"If you live in Williston and all of a sudden you have jet service you didn't have before you have a connection to the world you didn't have before," he said.
Wanner said the airlines also have added flight times, destinations and competition. In Bismarck, Northland Travel Agency's Cheryl Fenster said travelers may still pay more than $1,000 for a short term business trip. However, those that book in advance to fly out and return after a Saturday can get flights to Denver as low as $200 when they used to pay $750 to $900.
"They have gone down where we have competition," she said.
After its contract to do business at the airport expired on Feb. 28, Budget continued to operate without a contract.
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