Hoeven Helps Break Ground for New Williston Airport

Senator Worked to Secure $54.6 Million in Federal Funding, Language in DOT Approps Bill to Relocate, Expand Airport

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator John Hoeven today helped break ground on the Williston Basin International Airport (XWA), a new $231 million facility that will accommodate the economic and demographic growth in the region. The senator worked to secure $54.6 million in federal funding, as well as language in the Department of Transportation appropriations bill to relocate and expand the airport.

Hoeven, who serves on the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced last month that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) had awarded $27.6 million for Williston’s airport expansion and relocation project. The senator was also instrumental in getting sign-off on the September 2015 Record of Decision and a $27 million grant for land acquisition and Phase I construction last year. He continues to work to get federal support for the project as it advances.

In May, Hoeven also successfully included language in the Senate’s Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) Appropriations bill to ensure that sufficient funding is available for projects like Williston’s Sloulin Field. Some airports, like Sloulin Field, are unable to grow their current facilities because of various physical constraints. The Hoeven provision, however, directs the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to ensure sufficient funding is available to relocate these airports in a timely manner.

Funding sources for the project are as follows:

  • FAA: $112 million
  • City of Williston: $62.5 million from the sale of current airport site & airport generated revenues
  • State of ND: $56.7 million from the N.D. Energy Impact Fund

“This is a great day for Williston and the entire region,” Hoeven said. “The Williston Basin International Airport is a vital piece of transportation infrastructure that will be able to grow as the community grows. We’ve worked hard to secure funding and advance this project because this expansion and relocation will have tremendous economic impact and help support long-term growth in Williston and all of western North Dakota.”

In July, Hoeven met with Williston leaders to help advance federal support for the city’s new airport expansion and relocation project, Sloulin Field International Airport. Hoeven said he will continue to work to secure funding for the city’s airport expansion and relocation project.

In 2014, Hoeven and the congressional delegation hosted FAA Administrator Michael Huerta on a visit to North Dakota 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.

Commercial air service has grown from fewer than 6,000 passengers in 2005 to more than 100,000 passengers in 2015. The goal for completion is the fall of 2018.