MINOT, N.D. (AP) — Minot-area residents got an up-close look at the city’s new $43 million airport terminal over the weekend.
The facility doesn’t become operational for another week, but officials held a public open house on Saturday and thousands of people showed up, according to the Minot Daily News and KMOT-TV.
The project, which took about five years to complete, included an initial study, design work and 2½ years of construction, according to Airport Director Andy Solsvig.
“The facility is a game-changer for the community,” City Manager Lee Staab said.
Minot is on the edge of the western oil patch, and passenger numbers at the airport have tripled in recent years as energy production has boomed. The new terminal will be able to handle about 300,000 annual boardings — three times the number of the current facility.
Passenger numbers in North Dakota last year dropped by about 5 percent from the previous year, largely due to the slump in the oil industry. Boardings are still about double what they were before the oil boom began in earnest in 2008.
Minot’s new terminal has six gates, four with jet bridges. It also has state-of-the-art monitors and boarding areas, a sports bar-style restaurant and a play area for children. It has hundreds of window panes to allow in natural light.
“The community really needs a modern, nice airport,” said Michael Arellano, who lives at Minot Air Force Base.
The last flight at the old terminal is Sunday night. The first flight from the new facility is Monday morning, Feb. 29. Local officials will conduct a ribbon-cutting ceremony. An official dedication that will include Gov. Jack Dalrymple is scheduled for May 6.
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