Oil-related activity has filled McKenzie County roads and highways but also its flight paths.
With air traffic roughly five times more than it was three years ago, plans have been launched for a $3.5 million upgrade of the Watford City Municipal Airport.
“A lot of the flights landing and taking off here are related to the building and construction going on in Watford City,” said Tim Taylor, chairman of the airport board.
In 2014, the airport board plans to spend $3.5 million to expand the parking apron and build a new airport terminal.
“For a lot of folks flying into Watford City, the airport is the first thing they see,” Taylor said. “It’s their first impression of Watford City.”
The new airport terminal will offer a place for people who are flying in to meet family or business partners and for pilots to relax between flights.
The North Dakota Aeronautics Commission is providing $2.33 million for the projects, and the Federal Aviation Administration is contributing $327,000 for the apron project. Another $700,000 will come from city sales tax funds, leaving $216,000 more to come up with locally.