September Airport Boardings Down
October 14, 2015
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  • The number of boardings at North Dakota’s largest airports in September are down 5.6 percent throughout the state, and a more drastic 35.3 percent at Dickinson Theodore Roosevelt Regional Airport.

    The numbers compiled by the North Dakota Aeronautics Commission take eight airports into consideration and compare boarding numbers for each of the facilities dating back to 2006.

    In September 2014, Dickinson recorded 5,405 boardings. This September, there were 3,498.

    The city saw the steepest drop in boardings of any other commercial airline in the state.
    “The greatest impact to the airport is a loss of passenger facility charge fees — PFC fees — when they board an aircraft, which help fund capital improvement projects,” said airport manager Kelly Braun.

    He said a loss in those fees has not impacted any projects the airport has planned yet, but it could in the future if boardings stay low.

    Braun said if that is the case, airport administration and the airport commission would have to decide which projects to hold until numbers bounce back, but that those conversations have not been discussed and, potentially, may not have to be.

    Those losses can directly attributed to the decline in oilfield work, where it is common for employees to fly in for about 20 days of work and fly home for 10, Braun said.

    Since the slowdown, fewer employees are flying into the region for work.

    Year-to-date numbers at the airport are down by 21 percent, or a difference of 9,280 passengers since last year.

    And while the numbers sound low when compared to 2014, the year-to-date boarding numbers remain the second strongest since 2006.