In the past year, Bismarck Municipal Airport was one of only three commercial service airports in North Dakota to see an increase in paid passengers boarding, while the total number in the state saw a decrease.

According to the North Dakota Aeronautics Commission, Bismarck Municipal Airport saw just over a 4 percent increase in paid passengers boarding in 2016. The total for the year came to 271,022, which is up from 259,734 in 2015.

Jamestown Regional Airport and Devils Lake Regional Airport were the only other commercial airports in the state to see an increase in paid passengers. However, the overall number of paid passengers boarding in the state declined 11 percent from 1,176,043 in 2015 to 1,049,451 paid passengers in 2016.

The NDAC says the decline in passengers is in large part due to a loss of routes to Dickinson (Dickinson Theodore Roosevelt Regional Airport) and Williston (Sloulin Field International Airport). Williston is also in the process of building a new airport, which was started in October 2016.

Hector International Airport in Fargo also saw a decline in paid passengers. This was attributed to a loss of pilots from the year prior. The NDAC says there is currently a pilot shortage nationwide.

Source: Jamestown Sun