By: Kristin Clouston
The aviation industry in North Dakota now brings in about two billion dollars a year, but hasn`t gotten a funding increase since 1987. The North Dakota Aeronautics Commission currently gets $550,000 every two years to support the state`s airports, but a bill is being considered that would add an additional $9.45 million to the commission`s general fund.
“We continue to hear about how the roads and the DOT infrastructure are inadequate, especially in the western part of the state. We`re experiencing the same exact things with our airport infrastructure across not just the western part of the state, but across the entire state of North Dakota,” said Jon Simmers with Aviation Works for North Dakota.
The Governor has recommended giving $60 million in oil impact funds to 18 western counties. The Senate recently passed a bill that would allow the commission to give financial support to all the states airports, instead of just the eight that offer commercial service. That bill has moved on to the house.