The city of Williston has been awarded a US$27m grant by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to help buy land for the construction of a replacement airport for Sloulin Field International Airport in North Dakota, USA.
The FAA, part of the US Department of Transportation (USDOT), awarded the airport improvement program (AIP) grant following an environmental assessment and master-planning study to determine how to best address capacity at the existing airport. The study showed that Sloulin Field was constrained by surrounding developments and that the cost to improve the airport would not be economically feasible. The study recommended building a new airport in a different location that could safely accommodate current and future passenger numbers.
The new airport will be called Williston Basin International with XWA as the three-letter airport identifier. The AIP grant will help with the purchase of 1,540 acres of land, which should be completed by summer 2016. Construction is scheduled to begin in the autumn of 2016 with the airport opening in 2018. The total project cost, including land and construction of the new airport, is an estimated US$254m. The airport will be built in phases using future funding from the city of Williston and the state of North Dakota, with the possibility of additional grants from the FAA.
Anthony Foxx, US Transportation Secretary, said, “This grant reflects our commitment to meet the changing aviation needs of airports around the country. As economic and demographic changes occur, the DOT remains committed to helping state and local governments provide the necessary infrastructure to meet transportation demands.”
Michael Huerta, administrator for the FAA, said, “Investing in our nation’s airports is important to the national air transportation system. We look forward to continuing to work with our partners in North Dakota as we embark on this important project to provide safe and efficient air transportation to the Williston region.”