Bismarck Airport Seeks to Spread Its Wings

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BISMARCK (KFYR-TV) Business in Bismarck is taking off and that means more demand for fixed base operator services.

That's why airport administrators and engineers propose a $1.6 million expansion to add 15,000 square yards of space to park, board or refuel planes.

But there are a few things in the way.

"There are three buildings on the apron that, due to their alignment, don't allow for that additional expansion to those buildings," says KLJ environmental planner Curt Cady. "They have to be either torn down, moved or relocated in someway"

One of those buildings is historic hangar No. 5, which was built in 1936 and now stores small planes.

"Try to find somebody that will take over the hangar and preserve it and protect it," Cady says.

Cady says they're working with the state historical society, so if they decide to relocate hangar five, it can be for public use like an air museum.

"It would be such a great asset for our community to have a possible aviation museum," says Susan Quinnell of the state historical society.

The two other buildings that would be relocated are private hangars, and airport manager Greg Haug says they would ultimately benefit from the move.

"You know, as they build more and more hangars to co-locate next to each other, rather than go to some other area on the airfield and start an all new facility," Haug says.

City and state funds will be used for the expansion, but the results from an environmental study that's being done could help the project qualify for Federal Aviation Administration funding.

Public comment is accepted until December 29th, and if the project passes the environmental study, they hope to get started in early 2015.