Main Runway at Jamestown Regional Airport Open for Commercial Flights

June 17, 2024

Jun. 15—JAMESTOWN — The main runway at Jamestown Regional Airport is open for commercial flights after it was closed since May 7 for a rehabilitation project.

The main runway was opened on Friday, June 14, for two roundtrip flights to Denver.

"We are excited to reopen," said Katie Hemmer, airport director.

Jamestown Regional Airport currently offers direct flights to and from Denver on United Airlines, which is operated by SkyWest Airlines.

The runway rehabilitation project was primarily a mill and overlay project. The project also included crack and joint repair in the concrete.

"We did a walkthrough of the paving part of it earlier this week," Hemmer said. "Everything looks really good."

The cost of the runway rehabilitation project is more than $4 million. The local share of the project is 5% with 90% being covered by a Federal Aviation Administration grant and 5% through a North Dakota Aeronautics Commission grant.

The last rehabilitation project was done in 2005.

Border States Paving was the main contractor for the project. Despite the Jamestown area receiving fair amounts of rain, Border States Paving remained on or ahead of schedule to complete the runway rehabilitation project, Hemmer said.

She said Hi-Lite Airfield Services finished painting the runway on Wednesday night, June 12.

"All of the painting looks really good," she said.

Hemmer said the painting is considered temporary.

"After the pavement cures for 30 days, then they will come back and they are going to groove the runway so they actually have a traction to it," she said. "It gets grooved and then they do the final painting at that point."

Hemmer said the grooving of the runway will happen between 8 p.m. and 8 a.m. when the main runway is not being used for commercial flights. She said the painting will be done during the hours when there are no commercial flights.

"We are finalizing that schedule," she said. "Because there's only one flight on Tuesday, we are hoping that the window between the departure of Monday's flight and the arrival of Tuesday's flight will provide for the majority of the time that the painters need to be there."

Work is also being done on the airport's airfield electrical project. The airfield electrical project includes replacing every light and sign on the airfield and upgrading and changing them to LED fixtures. The project also includes getting all new electrical wires and regulators.

"They have completed the majority of the work on the main runway and the two taxiways that go up to the main runway," she said. "They have done the lighting replacement in those areas, and they will begin working on the taxiways and the crosswinds runway part of the electrical now once the main runway opens. They do have a lot of the new lights and signs installed."

Hemmer said the LED lights will help the airport save money on electricity and replacement costs.

With the main runway being closed since May 7, the number of passenger boardings at Jamestown Regional Airport could drop below 10,000 for this year. If the airport gets 10,000 paid passenger boardings in a year, it qualifies for $1 million in entitlement funds from the federal Airport Improvement Program.

Hemmer said the FAA ( Federal Aviation Administration) Reauthorization Act of 2024 will allow for a more graduated scale for entitlement funds.

Previously, if the airport got less than 10,000 paid passenger boardings in a year, it qualified for $100,000.

"There was this huge difference by reaching that 10,000 passenger threshold which we are very proud that we reached and that we've been the beneficiary of this," Hemmer said. "Now they are basing that more on a graduated scale so even if you drop below the 10,000 passenger mark, you don't automatically go all the way back to $100,000. It's more of a prorated amount."

She said the FAA will understand that the airport's passenger boarding numbers were impacted by construction-related projects.


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