Hoeven: FAA Awards Williston $27 Million for Sloulin Field Relocation

WASHINGTON – Senators John Hoeven today announced that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has approved the city of Williston’s request to relocate Sloulin Field International Airport and plans to award the city $26.6 million in grants for the project this year. The FAA yesterday signed off on a finding of no significant impact, allowing the project to advance. The news came this afternoon in a call with FAA Administrator Michael Huerta.

“We pushed hard for this funding because relocating Sloulin Field is important to supporting the long-term growth of western North Dakota and the Williston area,” Hoeven said. “The new airport is an important piece of transportation infrastructure, which is why the city is working on an aggressive timeframe to complete the project.”

Hoeven and the congressional delegation hosted Huerta on a visit to North Dakota last year to see firsthand the need for airport expansion and improvement projects in the state and brought him to Williston to see the city’s air transportation needs. Last month, the delegation sent a letter urging the administrator to review and approve all documents, including the Letter of Intent for funding, in a timely manner.

The number of boardings at the Williston Airport grew from 7,800 in 2007 to 120,900 in 2014. In addition, the current runway is designed for 30 passenger turbo props and is presently accommodating 50 passenger regional jets, which places tremendous stress and degradation on the runway. The airport, moreover, is restricted to flying aircraft no larger than the 50 passenger regional jets, limiting the community’s potential for growth.

Failure to complete this project in a timely fashion will restrict airfield capability and potentially compromise aircraft and passenger safety. The runway at the new airport will be capable of servicing 70 to 220 passenger aircraft with potential operations to every hub airport in the United States.