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Passenger Traffic Flying High At Hector International Airport
January 10, 2000

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Passenger traffic growth at the Hector International Airport is well ahead of expectations. Enplanements during 1999 totaled 221,368, up 14.2% over last year's enplanements according to Ken Pawluk, Chairman of the Municipal Airport Authority.

"The number of airline seats departing Fargo has increased to about 1,100 seats per day for 1999 as compared to 1998," said Chairman Pawluk, "this has increased the number of passengers flying to/from Fargo. International traffic has exceeded expectations. The addition of service to Chicago has helped provide one-stop jet-service to almost anywhere in the world."

During the fourth quarter of 1999, passenger enplanements totaled 56,450, a 9.0% increase over the same period in 1998. During 1998, 193,826 passengers boarded flights at the Hector International Airport, a 4.8% decrease over 1997. The decrease was largely due to the Northwest Airlines pilot strike in the fall of 1998.

Part of the increase in passenger traffic can be attributed to the addition of new services provided at the airport. United Express initiated regional jet service to Denver on March 4 and also to Chicago in December 1998. In addition, Northwest Airlines increased the size of the aircraft flying into Fargo by upgrading its DC9 service to Airbus A319 and A320 aircraft. Northwest and its partner Mesaba offer 9 daily non-stop flights to Minneapolis/St. Paul from Fargo. Of the available seat departures from Fargo, 97% are on jet aircraft.

"In addition to our aggressive marketing program, the airport has worked in cooperation with Fargo Cass County Economic Development, the Fargo-Moorhead Chamber of Commerce, the Fargo Moorhead Convention Visitors Bureau and the Business Task Force," said Chairman Pawluk.

In an effort to provide for the present and future operational needs of the Hector International Airport, the Municipal Airport Authority is in the initial stages to extend one of its three runways this summer. Depending on Federal funding availability, runway 08/26 will be extended approximately 2,000 feet on the west-end of the current runway. This will better accommodate the increasing number of business and regional jet traffic during certain weather conditions.


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