Hoeven: CBP To Maintain Williston’s International Airport Designation

Senator Led Letter to CBP Commissioner Calling for the New Airport’s Designation to Prevent Unnecessary Expenses

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven, a member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and the Homeland Security Appropriations Committee, today announced that U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will maintain the international airport designation for Williston’s new airport. Hoeven was notified in June that CBP’s Seattle Field Office had denied the City of Williston’s request to transfer the international airport designation from the existing Sloulin Field International Airport to the new Williston Basin airport, and instead proposed that Williston Basin operate as a User Fee Airport (UFA). This would have imposed significant expenses on the new airport and impaired its ability to accommodate existing air traffic. 

In response, Hoeven led a delegation letter to CBP Commissioner Kevin McAleenan, calling on him to reconsider the city’s request and to work with the City of Williston to ensure the new airport receives this vital designation. Today, the commissioner committed to Hoeven to designate Williston Basin as an international airport and to work closely with the city to ensure the new airport meets the requirements of an international airport. 

“With ever-increasing demand for air transportation in the region and Williston’s close proximity to Canada, the international airport designation is a vital part of the airport’s relocation,” Hoeven said. “We appreciate Commissioner McAleenan’s commitment to work with the city on meeting the designation’s requirements. This will promote the safe and efficient operation of the new facility and provide certainty for all of the residents and businesses that rely on this essential infrastructure.”

Hoeven also serves on the Senate Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Committee, through which he has secured strong support for infrastructure investment in North Dakota. Earlier this month, Hoeven announced two grants totaling $14.2 million for the construction of Williston’s airport. This brought the federal government’s funding to date for the airport to $85 million, with the government having committed a total of $112 million for the $231 million project. The senator has also worked to include provisions in Congress’ annual funding legislation that ensure airports, like Williston’s current Sloulin Field International, can relocate when their locations do not allow for expansion.