Our very own Dunn County Airport/Weydahl Field located in Killdeer just North West of I-22 has recently won the 2015 General Aviation Airport of the Year award at a formal ceremony held in Bismarck on March 8. The award followed an announcement made by the Governor of North Dakota Jack Dalrymple proclaiming March as “Aviation Month.” The award is given to airports that exhibit “excellence in maintaining safety, project management, and community awareness’’.
Weydahl Field has come a long way since its days 10 years ago. The airport was technically closed for 10 years, though pilots could “land at your own risk.” Despite the condition of the Airport people took the risk and continued to do business through Weydahl Field in lieu of the recent oil boom.
However, in 2013 the airport was hit with a storm that destroyed a hangar and some aircraft stored inside. This seemingly unfortunate situation was just the opportunity Chairman Mike Schollmeyer had been waiting for. He was ready to take lemons and make lemonade! “Our sales pitch (was), we were the busiest closed airport in the state,” says Schollmeyer. The community was eager to get behind the re-build project. The North Dakota Aeronautics Commission agreed and approved the necessary funds. The project cost just under 5.3 million to complete.
Today Weydahl Field provides the Dunn County community with emergency access to healthcare, educational services, research opportunities, and activities conducted at and supported by the local airport provide state and local tax revenue.
According to a recently published economic impact study from 2016, general aviation airports in North Dakota account for $121 million in total economic output annually. The total economic output for Dunn County Airport/Weydahl Field is $3,065,201, and it supports 24 total jobs and a payroll of $1,564,863.
“General aviation businesses are critical to the economy of North Dakota, supporting jobs and competitiveness,” stated Thomas L. Hendricks, President and CEO of the National Air Transportation Association.
Thanks to the excellence of the Dunn County Airport/Weydahl Field Dunn County will continue to help contribute to the continued economic growth and development in the great state of North Dakota and right here at home in Dunn County.