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Airport boardings decline

Overall airport boardings for the eight commercial airports in North Dakota were down in the first quarter 2007 compared to first quarter 2006, the North Dakota Aeronautics Commission said Friday.

Overall airport boardings for the eight commercial airports in North Dakota were down in the first quarter 2007 compared to first quarter 2006, the North Dakota Aeronautics Commission said Friday.

Airports had a decline of 2,679 passengers, a 1.62 percent drop. The drop was caused by weather-delayed flights, the airline industry reducing capacity and an increase in yields to offset higher fuel costs, according to Gary Ness, commission director.

The Grand Forks International Airport saw a drop of almost 2,000 passengers from first quarter 2006, and 8.37 percent decline. Jamestown saw the biggest decrease, at 13.67 percent. Several airports did see an increase, but for a state average, that was offset by others declining numbers.

Some airports are initiating marketing efforts to lure more passengers. "A stronger North Dakota energy development economy should stimulate air travel into the summer," Ness said in a press release.

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