Planning airport’s future

Life at the Minot International Airport has certainly changed in the past few years, as the demand for air travel has skyrocketed and the city’s small terminal has been overwhelmed by passengers and vehicles alike.

For those at the airport, especially airport director Andy Solsvig, change is going to be the norm from now on, and that’s a good thing for the city and for those using the airport facilities.

As work begins on the city’s new airport terminal, scheduled to open in the fall of 2015, Solsvig and others involved in the day-to-day operations of the airport have begun engaging in strategic planning for the future. It’s certainly a wise decision, and a necessary one, too.

The new terminal, which will be three times the size of the current building, will no doubt bring with it challenges. How many employees will be needed to operate and maintain the new terminial? Will there need to be new businesses inside the airport to provide services to air passengers? If so, what kinds of businesses?

By beginning the planning process now, Solsvig and others involved should be able to at least minimize potential surprises once the new terminal is operational. No doubt there will still be surprises that crop up, as there would be with the opening of any new, large-scale project. But by working on a strategic plan now, 18 months ahead of the terminal’s opening, officials are doing everything they can to be fully prepared.