The town of Williston, North Dakota now has a bigger airport to serve international travellers drawn by the region’s booming energy industry, Forbes reports.
Williston Basin International Airport (XWA) replaces Sloulin Field International Airport (ISN), which opened in 1947.
The new airport has a level, 7,500-foot runway that can accommodate larger aircraft than the one it replaces; flights to Sloulin were limited by a shorter, sloped runway when wind speeds topped 15 mph.
The new $273 million airport will now be able to accommodate A321 and Boeing 757 jets. United Airlines and Delta Air Lines currently serve Williston.
In 2009, just 22,000 passengers travelled through Williston. In 2014, 240,000 passengers travelled through the former airport. That shrunk to 148,000 in 2018, but traffic is up 22 percent year-over-year in 2019.
“We are working to attract additional air service,” said airport director Anthony Dudas.
“One of the highest priorities is a leisure carrier. We are underserved for leisure travelers and we have high fares.”