Hoeven: New Williston Airport Will Enable Economic Growth Now and Into the Future

Senator Passed Legislation to Ensure Airport Could Be Relocated, Secured More Than $114 Million in Federal Funding

WILLISTON, N.D. – At the grand opening of the new Williston Basin International Airport (XWA), Senator John Hoeven outlined his work as a member of the Senate Transportation Appropriations Committee to advance the airport. This includes language he passed as part of annual funding legislation in recent years that allowed the airport to be built on a new location. The measure directed the FAA to ensure sufficient funding is available in a timely manner to relocate airports that are in critical need of expansion and relocation due to their essential economic impact to the local community. As a result of Hoeven’s efforts, the Williston Basin International Airport is the first primary airport built in the last nine years on undeveloped land, also called a greenfield, with only seven such airports being constructed in the last 45 years. Hoeven’s efforts also included:

  • Securing more than $114 million in federal funding for airport construction.
  • Ensuring the International Airport Designation: Hoeven secured a commitment from Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to designate the new airport as an international airport. CBP initially suggested that the airport become a user fee airport, rather than transferring the designation, which would have increased the airports costs by more than $161,000 per year and impaired the airport’s ability to accommodate existing air traffic.
  • Ensuring Cement Supply: The senator’s office worked with the city of Williston and the Governor to ensure that cement was supplied on-time to pave the primary runway and taxiway by August 12 in order for the FAA to complete flight checks and allow the airport to open.  

“Over the past several years, we’ve secured legislation to ensure the airport could be built on a new location as well as the federal funding needed to make the Williston Basin International Airport a reality,” said Hoeven. “This new airport is vital infrastructure in western North Dakota and is critical to meeting the needs of the region. It will not only improve services for travelers but help support economic growth in Williston and the surrounding communities.”

Additionally, in 2014, Hoeven brought the FAA Administrator to Williston to see firsthand the transportation needs in the Williston community and secure support for airport expansion.