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Published March 14, 2013, 05:55 PM

GFK Boardings Up From Last Year, But Growth Slowing

The most recent boarding numbers from the Grand Forks airport show an increase over last year, but the growth has slowed.

By: David Schwab, WDAZ

The most recent boarding numbers from the Grand Forks airport show an increase over last year, but the growth has slowed.

The good news is boarding numbers are still strong, more people the ever are using the Grand Forks Airport. But the growth momentum is taking a bit of a breather.

Flight numbers this year are still breaking records at the Grand Forks Airport. Executive Director Patrick Dame expects about 150,000 people will use the airport this year. Dame: "That will be up by about 13,000 boardings from last year."

So far this year flight numbers are up by about 2 percent .. Over the past five years the growth rate was around 15 percent growth at times. There are a number of reasons for the increase.

Kim Pemberton-Kingberg: "Last year we took a trip out of the cities and that is kind of a drive for us. "

Dave Pawlick: "It's reasonably priced for the convenience."

Cheap fares are a big draw for Canadians like Shawn Harel.

Shawn: "And the border hassle is not that bad. It takes up maybe a half hour to cross and it saves 100's of dollars."

Darlene Konowalchuk: "Super fast because it's so small and it's way cheaper."

And Dame says a strong local economy and more direct flight destinations like United Airlines' flight to Denver is also attracting more people.

Dame: "We are seeing a good positive end in their loads. And we are pleased to see that."

Dame says North Dakota airports that are seeing the fastest rate of Growth are in the west in Minot, Williston and Dickinson.

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