On June 6th the North Dakota Aeronautics Commission finalized approximately $3.5 million in infrastructure grant allocations to multiple public airports throughout the state. There were 165 individual projects that received grant awards at 58 different public-use airports throughout the state.
Additionally, the Aeronautics Commission also provided aviation education grants as follows:
- $7,930 to the Dakota Territory Air Museum in Minot for equipment to promote Unmanned Aerial System technology programming to K-12 students.
- $11,895 to the Missouri River Area Career and Technical Center to help purchase aviation simulator and computer equipment to enhance rural North Dakota high school aviation programs.
The revenue source for these grants is derived primarily from state tax collections on aviation fuel and aircraft sales. A majority of these grant allocations will also match federal grants that are anticipated to be received for 2019 airport projects. These state grants are critical in maintaining the needed infrastructure to support the aviation industry, which is a major contributor to the state’s economy.
In 2015, the North Dakota Aeronautics Commission completed a research project to estimate the annual economic impact that the 89 public-use airports provide to North Dakota. The research concluded that the airports have an estimated annual economic impact of $1.6 billion dollars on the state’s overall economy while providing support for over 12,200 jobs. More information on this study is available from the Aeronautics Commission website at www.aero.nd.gov.
“The state of North Dakota fully understands the benefits of smart and efficient infrastructure as well as the economic impact and heightened standard of living that our airports provide to their communities. These airport grant allocations will go a long way to help leverage federal funding for high priority airport projects within North Dakota while at the same time ensuring that our statewide aviation system is being maintained.
The aviation education grants will also greatly help to support K-12 aviation education and STEM programming which is critically important during a time when the aviation industry throughout the country is experiencing shortages in pilots and many other aviation-related careers. The state is excited to partner with our public airports, schools, and aviation museums to provide support and enhance opportunities for the aviation industry throughout North Dakota,” stated Kyle Wanner, the Executive Director of the North Dakota Aeronautics Commission.