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Published August 27, 2013, 08:50 AM

North Dakota airports receive boost, grants due to oil boom

DICKINSON, N.D. (AP) — Rural airports in North Dakota that are experiencing an increase in business because of the western oil boom are getting millions of dollars in state oil impact grants.

DICKINSON, N.D. (AP) — Rural airports in North Dakota that are experiencing an increase in business because of the western oil boom are getting millions of dollars in state oil impact grants.

The state Legislature earlier this year approved $60 million over the two-year budget period to help deal with the growth, the Jamestown Sun reported. Another $6 million was approved for airports elsewhere in the state. The state Aeronautics Commission is in charge of doling out the money.

"Most airports in the state are being hit with business traffic that wasn't there before," said Kyle Wanner, aviation planner for the commission.

The Mohall airport is a good case study of what is happening in western North Dakota, he said. That small airport went from housing three airplanes to 25 within just one year.

Many small airports weren't designed to handle such an increase in traffic, and they need money for improvements, Wanner said.

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