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Published May 18, 2012, 05:11 PM

Airline Boardings Continue to Set Records in ND

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota airline boardings are setting records, due in large part to the influx of people into the booming western oil patch.

By: Associated Press,

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota airline boardings are setting records, due in large part to the influx of people into the booming western oil patch.

Six of the state's eight commercial airports had record boardings in April, and statewide there was an increase over the year of nearly 24 percent, according to data released by the state Aeronautics Commission. Nearly 79,000 people boarded planes during the month, an increase from April 2011 of more than 15,000.

"Indications are that the oil industry is providing the large increases in the west, while in the rest of the state the low-cost carriers have helped bring in additional passengers," state Aeronautics Director Larry Taborsky said.

A new terminal in Grand Forks also played a role in a 39 percent jump in boardings in that eastern city, he said.

In the western oil patch, the Williston airport saw a 36 percent increase in boardings over the year, the Minot airport a 69 percent rise and the Dickinson airport a 74 percent jump.

The only airports that saw decreases in April boardings were Jamestown and Devils Lake, where Great Lakes Airlines is providing service after Delta's decision last year to halt service to the two cities.

The 50 percent decline in boardings in Jamestown and a 54 percent drop in Devils Lake have alarmed local officials. The Jamestown Sun reports the a meeting is planned in Washington, D.C., in early June to talk with airline officials and others about the issue.


Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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