Airport project on track

A new airport terminal planned in Minot took another step toward reality Monday, with the Minot Planning Commission giving its approval to the $40 million terminal, which is part of an overall $75 million airport improvement project.

The commission’s approval keeps the terminal project on track for groundbreaking late this summer. The city of Minot has seen continued record growth in airline boardings over the past few years, thanks to the ongoing oil boom and subsequent population increases in Minot and other areas of western North Dakota.

The new two-story terminal will be three times the size of the current building at Minot International Airport, with five passenger boarding areas and six passenger waiting areas. Besides the terminal, the project also includes new access roads and additional parking, and taxiway and apron improvements.

Anyone who has used the current Minot terminal knows the city has outgrown the facility. At peak flight times, the terminal can be overrun with passengers, and the parking situation at the airport has become a hassle, to say the least. Vehicles are parked in cramped rows in the airport’s parking lots, as well as in areas that were never intended for parking. Airport officials have really had no choice but to expand parking to new areas, and at least everyone knows it’s a temporary solution until the new terminal and parking lots are completed.

And that day can’t come soon enough.