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N.D. airports see overall boardings increase

The North Dakota Aeronautics Commission this month released boarding data for each airport in the state.

North Dakota has seen a cumulative growth of 4 percent In North Dakota, comparing January to August of 2017 to that same time period this year.

Kyle Wanner, director of the commission, described this growth as a sign of a good economy. “Airline boardings can be a key indicator of economic growth,” he said.

Grand Forks International Airport saw a boardings drop of almost 4 percent from 2017 to 2018, a loss of almost 3,000.

Ryan Riesinger, executive director of the Grand Forks Regional Airport Authority, said those numbers are right where he expected the airport would be. With fewer flights, they have been able to fill more seats, he said.

Loss of Canadian tourism into Grand Forks has been a reason for the drop in year-over-year boardings in Grand Forks.

“Grand Forks was bleeding from loss of Canadian tourism for years, but we’re finally starting to see month-over-month growth,” Wanner said.

Wanner also added this makes a case for why it is important to fly from the local airport and not drive out of town to fly.

“Your community will benefit from it.”

Williston and Dickinson had two of the largest increases from year to year in the state. Williston increased boardings by 7 percent and Dickinson by 19 percent.