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Other Views: Minot terminal will meet future need

Let the construction begin.

Now that the ceremonial first shovels of dirt have been turned, it will soon be time for the real work to get underway on Minot's new airport terminal. And it can't happen quickly enough.

The new terminal project, located east of the current terminal built in 1991, also includes a huge upgrade in parking, with about 1,500 parking spaces compared to the current 600 at the airport. There will also be upgrades in runway infrastructure and a new airport equipment building. In all, the project totals approximately $70 million and is expected to be completed by the fall of 2015.

Minot has quickly outgrown the current airport facility, thanks to an ever-increasing boost in airline traffic due mainly to the population increase in northwestern North Dakota associated with the ongoing boom in the oil industry. Minot's current 34,000-square-foot terminal simply isn't large enough to handle the increasing number of passengers. The new terminal, which includes 115,000-square feet, will meet the needs of a growing city and a prospering region well into the future. Minot Mayor Curt Zimbelman said it best at Monday's groundbreaking: "The new airport terminal will be a gateway to that growth."