Airport terminal moves closer to construction stage

If funding falls in place, Minot airport officials could be breaking ground on a new terminal in July.

The design work is complete but for some internal coordination by the design consultants. Consultants presented the plans to the Minot City Council’s Airport Committee Tuesday. The goal is to bid the project in May.

The key to the construction timeline will be what happens with potential federal and state funding. The North Dakota Senate passed a bill providing $60 million for airports impacted by energy development. The House has held a hearing but has not acted on the bill.

Congress has approved an appropriation for aviation that includes discretionary funds for the Federal Aviation Administration to disperse. Minot has asked for some of that discretionary money and is waiting to hear from the FAA.

The city plans to bond for the local share of the terminal project, estimated at around $40 million. With other associated airport improvements, the total cost is about $75 million.

Last year, the U.S. Department of Transportation awarded $7.8 million to the Minot airport for the ongoing planning and construction of airport infrastructure projects. A portion of the money went to improve taxiways and additional money is going into work related to the terminal.

The airport also is on track to begin construction in mid- to late summer on a parking lot at the location of the fire training facility that is being moved. A concrete apron is expected to be bid by late summer or early fall for construction start next spring.

The new terminal will be three times the size of the existing terminal.

The two-story terminal will have ticket and baggage claim areas on the 70,000-square-foot first floor. The second floor will have Transportation Security Administration screening and six passenger holding areas. There will be five passenger boarding bridges, with design in place to build a sixth later.

“Our wish to create a building that is unique for Minot still remains as strong as ever,” said Edward Balkin, director of design with CooverClark, the Denver consultant.

In addition to having a design that is right for Minot, the goal is to have the terminal layout be intuitive so that visitors can easily find where they want to go, he said. The terminal is designed to accommodate existing and future technologies.

Representatives with CooverClark were in Minot this week to meet with airport officials and review building permit information with city staff.