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Oil boom continues to boost N.D. airport boardings; Minot surpasses Grand Forks for 1st time

Passenger boardings this year through Oct. 31 at North Dakota's eight largest commercial service airports were up 7.7 percent over the same 10 months in 2010 at 714,536, despite decreases at the three largest ones - at Fargo, Bismarck and Grand F...

Passenger boardings this year through Oct. 31 at North Dakota's eight largest commercial service airports were up 7.7 percent over the same 10 months in 2010 at 714,536, despite decreases at the three largest ones - at Fargo, Bismarck and Grand Forks - according to numbers released today by the state's Aeronautics Commission.

The effect of the Oil Patch is evident, as Minot's airport has seen an increase of 71 percent in boardings this year through Oct. 31, to 121,095, surpassing Grand Forks for the first time.

Grand Forks International Airport had 94,656 boardings through October, down 1 percent from the year-ago figure for the period.

Fargo's year-to-date boardings total was 292,111, down 4.5 percent, while Bismarck was down 1 percent to 160,318 through Oct. 31.

Williston's airport had 22,330 boardings through Oct. 31, up 71 percent from the same period in 2010. This year's figure, in fact, more than doubles 2009's first 10 months of 9,028 boardings in Williston and is nearly five times the 4,599 boardings recorded through October in 2005, at the cusp of the oil boom.

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Dickinson's airport had 14,887 boardings by the end of October, up 81 percent over last year.

Jamestown was up 28 percent to 4,425 and Devils Lake was up 16.5 percent to 4,714.

For the month of October itself, total boardings at all eight airports were up 10.2 percent over October 2010 at 75,464. Fargo had 27,216, down 3.3 percent from a year ago; Bismarck had 18,001, up 6.6 percent; Minot had 14,543, up 53 percent and Grand Forks had 10,231, up 0.8 percent.

October boardings in Williston were 2,200, up 28.3 percent and also were 2,200 in Dickinson, up 85.2 percent from a year ago. Devils Lake had 548 boardings last month, up 18.6 percent, while Jamestown had 525, up 29.3 percent.

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