iowaman
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North Dakota Terminals Operating Over Capacity

Fri Sep 27, 2013 6:21 pm

The oil boom is having a significant impact on passenger numbers, particularly in western and central North Dakota. ISN received new UA and DL CRJ service this summer, and DIK is also now receiving CRJ service. MOT is in the process of building a new terminal to handle the passenger load, with ISN and DIK looking at terminal expansion options as well.

Quote:


“We now have three airports which have terminals that are operating at three times their designed capacity,” state Aeronautics Commission Director Larry Taborsky said in a release. “This sustained growth began prior to 2010, and is projected to continue. We’re asking the FAA to consider the North Dakota airport projects as a high priority for their discretionary funding.”

...

Kjergaard said the terminal in Williston was designed to handle 30 people per hour. It now handles 120 to 150 people per hour or about 9,000 per month, which is more than it was designed to handle per year.

Kjergaard said Williston plans to apply for state and federal grants next year to start purchasing land as well as design work on either a new or expanded airport.

....

Bismarck, Northland Travel Agency’s Cheryl Fenster said travelers may still pay more than $1,000 for a short term business trip. However, those that book in advance to fly out and return after a Saturday can get flights to Denver as low as $200 when they used to pay $750 to $900.

Full article available here: http://bismarcktribune.com/business/...2-1fe9-11e3-adba-0019bb2963f4.html

Hopefully by the time ISN, MOT, BIS, and DIK expand their facilities there will still be high demand for flights.
 
toxtethogrady
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RE: North Dakota Terminals Operating Over Capacity

Fri Sep 27, 2013 6:28 pm

It takes about 18-24 months to plan, design and build a terminal, and they may be able to shave a few months off with a design-build. I don't think the demand is going anywhere in the next two years.
 
MountainFlyer
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RE: North Dakota Terminals Operating Over Capacity

Fri Sep 27, 2013 6:51 pm

If memory serves me correctly, the current terminal at ISN is less than 10 years old. Things have certainly changed.

Quoting iowaman (Thread starter):
ISN received new UA and DL CRJ service this summer

These services started last November. It's been almost a year now. DIK is the one with new service.

Quoting iowaman (Thread starter):
Hopefully by the time ISN, MOT, BIS, and DIK expand their facilities there will still be high demand for flights.

  

The thing about booms is, they don't last forever. I have no doubt the economic landscape of western North Dakota has been changed forever, but one has to wonder when the boom will go bust or at least slow down. We don't need more unused airline terminals.
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slcdeltarumd11
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RE: North Dakota Terminals Operating Over Capacity

Fri Sep 27, 2013 7:31 pm

There are all types of temporary things they could do to setup temporary trails and things. Look at LGB they used basically linked trailers for years. SLC has operated for decades way beyond its capacity it was every designed for. SLC has alot of bandaids in place to help increase capacity for more the airport designers ever thought was likely.

Its a boom, lets see how the demand lasts long term. I don't think they shold build something expensive and be stuck with high costs in the future to pay it all off. I would look for more band aid solutions and then build when you have actually gotten government funding, or saved enough cash to pay for alot of it. I've been some of these parts of ND recently there clearly is an increase of new people and jobs but it really didn't seem the hype the newspaper articles and stuff make it seem. Its a little over hyped because these areas were dying so much before, its drastically different by comparison.
 
MIflyer12
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RE: North Dakota Terminals Operating Over Capacity

Fri Sep 27, 2013 9:22 pm

How much are the Passenger Facility Charges out of DIK, MOT and ISN?
 
MountainFlyer
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RE: North Dakota Terminals Operating Over Capacity

Fri Sep 27, 2013 9:55 pm

Quoting slcdeltarumd11 (Reply 3):

Its a boom, lets see how the demand lasts long term. I don't think they shold build something expensive and be stuck with high costs in the future to pay it all off.

I agree for the most part, but this is the conundrum of boom economics. How to you make some of that stick for the long-term economy without building up infrastructure, and yet how much infrastructure is too much if the boom goes away?

I can see one side to building now, while the boom is happening, and that is to take advantage of the money while it's there. One industry that has exploded in western North Dakota since the boom is the hotel/short-term housing industry. It is unbelievable how many new hotels have gone up out there (many owned by the oil companies themselves), and yet one has to wonder if most of that capacity is going to sit vacant if the boom goes bust. However, I don't recall where I read it, but I read somewhere a couple of years ago when the boom was revving up that most of these new hotels can be completely paid off in less than three years because of the demand, and especially at that time, there were no doubts that the boom would last at least three years. Everything after three years was gravy. Basically, the investors could walk away from these new buildings in five years if the boom goes bust and still have made bank on them.

In that light, build now while the tax revenues are good, but don't overbuild so you can't support it during not-so-good times. Generally, North Dakota has been fairly good at that being one of the most fiscally conservative states in the country. It'll be interesting to see how the cards fall this time.

Quoting slcdeltarumd11 (Reply 3):
I've been some of these parts of ND recently there clearly is an increase of new people and jobs but it really didn't seem the hype the newspaper articles and stuff make it seem. Its a little over hyped because these areas were dying so much before, its drastically different by comparison.

I grew up less about half an hour outside of Williston. I was just back there for a visit about a month ago. It was the first time I'd been there since 2010. I can certainly tell you, for this region, it is not over-hyped. Sure, to a large city, an influx of the size western ND is seeing is really not that big of deal. However, relatively speaking, it's huge. Just about every number there, from the number of people to the number of passengers to the median wage, has increased exponentially in less than five years.

Williston has by many estimates more than doubled in size in less than five years, and for the last couple of years, it has had the highest taxable sales of any place in North Dakota, including Fargo, which even still is nearly ten times larger.

To use rough scaled comparisons, picture Salt Lake City doubling in population by the next presidential election and moving more goods than New York City.
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Bingo1
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RE: North Dakota Terminals Operating Over Capacity

Sat Sep 28, 2013 4:22 am

Obviously not many on here are familiar with the area and the reason for the "boom". North Dakota, the southeastern corner of Saskatchewan, and the southwestern corner of Manitoba sit on what is called the Bakken Play. It's a dome of sweet light crude that comes out of the ground, and in some cases, is so pure it almost looks like tea. The "boom" now, is the fever of exploration and drilling but should prices drop significantly those wells will still be there and need maintenance and all related infrastructure. Oil booms aren't like an old time gold rush in that when things dry up you have a million abandoned tar paper shanties rustling in the wind. The good thing for the Dakota's is that this oil is high quality and relatively cheap to extract so a lot of projects will be shut down before this one.

I flew out of Minot not long after they got there new (then) terminal. I'm not surprised it is tight now. I always thought it was the nicest little terminal I've ever flown out of.

What I'm saying is this, build those terminals; they will be used.
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KaiGywer
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RE: North Dakota Terminals Operating Over Capacity

Sat Sep 28, 2013 5:36 am

BIS isn't seeing any expansion, as our terminal is still big enough to handle the demand. Our problem is the single TSA line and ticket counter space. Right now, there's not room for more airlines, unless someone shares (G4 and F9 are sharing, DL and UA are separate right now)
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MountainFlyer
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RE: North Dakota Terminals Operating Over Capacity

Sat Sep 28, 2013 8:26 pm

Quoting Bingo1 (Reply 6):
The "boom" now, is the fever of exploration and drilling but should prices drop significantly those wells will still be there and need maintenance and all related infrastructure. Oil booms aren't like an old time gold rush in that when things dry up you have a million abandoned tar paper shanties rustling in the wind.

Upkeep of existing wells requires a fraction of the labor force required to drill them in the first place. Like I said before, the economy there has changed permanently, but it will not always be fever pitch as it is now. Collapsed oil booms may not leave behind the same degree of remnants as mining booms, but they leave behind a lot of unused infrastructure.

That being said, I don't believe the boom is going away anytime soon, and I agree with you that if they're even thinking of expanding their terminals, do it now, but don't overbuild. If anything, (I could be wrong), I would guess that ISN's exponential growth, while not done, is largely behind them. The boom is still alive and well, but it has more or less stabilized.

Quoting Bingo1 (Reply 6):
The good thing for the Dakota's is that this oil is high quality and relatively cheap to extract so a lot of projects will be shut down before this one.

High quality, yes; cheap to extract, no. The two key factors that created this boom is the fracking process and high oil prices. This is not "cheap" oil. The exact figure seems to change a lot, but at a minimum, I've heard that the ND oil requires a minimum of $60/barrel oil just to break even. Some figures I've heard put that closer to $80/barrel.

This boom actually started in around 2006-2007, but it took a nice pause when oil prices crashed during late 2008 into 2009. During that time, they were actually laying off workers in the region. I know a couple of them.
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jsnww81
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RE: North Dakota Terminals Operating Over Capacity

Sat Sep 28, 2013 9:08 pm

Quoting MountainFlyer (Reply 2):
The thing about booms is, they don't last forever. I have no doubt the economic landscape of western North Dakota has been changed forever, but one has to wonder when the boom will go bust or at least slow down.

Indicators seem to suggest that this boom will last quite awhile, but as you and others have pointed out, it probably won't be forever. Midland and Odessa in Texas had quite the boom during the late 1970s and early 1980s and then crashed when oil prices came down in the late 1980s. Might be a good example for the folks in western ND to review and make sure they don't follow too closely.

That said, I'm always a fan of new airport construction. MOT, DIK and ISN just need to make sure they don't turn into the next Hilo, Hawaii - a nine-gate monstrosity built for a tourist boom that never materialized, with widebody-capable gates that today sit around gathering dust.
 
jetblueguy22
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RE: North Dakota Terminals Operating Over Capacity

Sun Sep 29, 2013 8:41 pm

Quoting KaiGywer (Reply 7):
BIS isn't seeing any expansion, as our terminal is still big enough to handle the demand. Our problem is the single TSA line and ticket counter space. Right now, there's not room for more airlines, unless someone shares (G4 and F9 are sharing, DL and UA are separate right now)

I flew from GFK-BIS last Saturday and BIS was a ghost town. I was shocked at how quiet it actually was. I thought it would be a bit busier, but I'm not complaining. I had runway 13 all to myself   .

I think one thing that the state needs to start looking at is working on the runways. I want to say it was last September UND started to prohibit us to fly to ISN and DIK, partly because of traffic, but mostly due to the fear of deteriorating runways. These airports are seeing a lot of airline service, but also a lot of business jets. Maybe not by TEB standards, but certainly more than was originally planned for the airport. Looking at putting up towers probably wouldn't be a bad idea either. I know there is no extreme danger or anything on a CTAF, but having a tower to coordinate traffic would be nice. A lot of these guys cancel their flight plans under 10,000 and fly the remainder IFR. As a SEL pilot I'd like to have someone watching out for safety reasons.

It's great to see the boom in North Dakota. Great place to live with some wonderful people. I know I am a distance away from most of the activity, but there are elements of the boom you can see in GFK. Our passenger numbers keep breaking records. I think we are up 6% compared to this point last year. Now our terminal isn't nearly as packed as some of these boom towns. But we are all seeing increases.
Pat
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Buckeyetech
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RE: North Dakota Terminals Operating Over Capacity

Sun Sep 29, 2013 10:05 pm

I last flew through MOT about 8 years ago when I was stationed at MIB. NW really ran a smooth operation before the boom. Sometime I'd like to see downtown Minot again, from what I've heard I wouldn't recognize it because of all the new businesses.
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azstar
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RE: North Dakota Terminals Operating Over Capacity

Sun Sep 29, 2013 11:10 pm

FAR is still the largest airport , almost double the traffic of BIS, the next largest. A few years ago they expanded the terminal from 4 gates to 5, and added a little screening space for TSA. Doesn't seem like it would be worth the trouble to add only one gate. They will probably need to add another one in a couple of years.
 
bomber996
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RE: North Dakota Terminals Operating Over Capacity

Sun Sep 29, 2013 11:18 pm

Quoting jetblueguy22 (Reply 10):
It's great to see the boom in North Dakota. Great place to live with some wonderful people. I know I am a distance away from most of the activity, but there are elements of the boom you can see in GFK. Our passenger numbers keep breaking records. I think we are up 6% compared to this point last year. Now our terminal isn't nearly as packed as some of these boom towns. But we are all seeing increases.

It's just a shame that we're loosing UA come December... http://www.usatoday.com/story/todayi...-forks-from-its-route-map/2803235/

Peace   
Two biggest lies in aviation... "I'm from the FAA and I'm here to help you." & "Traffic in sight."
 
nomorerjs
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RE: North Dakota Terminals Operating Over Capacity

Sun Sep 29, 2013 11:19 pm

From what I'm hearing from my friends at AA and UA, expect new flights to DFW and ORD in the next year. Jungle jets, but it's a start.
 
azstar
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RE: North Dakota Terminals Operating Over Capacity

Sun Sep 29, 2013 11:34 pm

Quoting nomorerjs (Reply 14):
From what I'm hearing from my friends at AA and UA, expect new flights to DFW and ORD in the next year. Jungle jets, but it's a start.

UA discontinued BIS-ORD over a year ago, and GFK-DEN will be discontinued at the end of the month, IIRC.
 
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KaiGywer
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RE: North Dakota Terminals Operating Over Capacity

Mon Sep 30, 2013 7:12 am

Quoting nomorerjs (Reply 14):
From what I'm hearing from my friends at AA and UA, expect new flights to DFW and ORD in the next year. Jungle jets, but it's a start.

AA got a SCASD grant to start service from BIS.
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