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Passenger boardings continue to fall at most ND airports

Passengers try to line up flights out of Fargo's Hector International Airport on Thursday, Jan. 7, 2016. Forum file photo

FARGO—Passenger boardings continued to tick down last month at nearly all of North Dakota's commercial airports.

The North Dakota Aeronautics Commission's monthly boardings report, released Thursday, Feb. 16, shows seven of the state's eight commercial airports had fewer boardings last month than they did in January 2016.

The biggest percentage decrease was recorded in Dickinson, which posted a 13.6 percent decline that translated to 204 fewer boardings for the month, followed by a 12.2 percent drop in Williston.

Minot was down 8.3 percent, and boardings were down 6.8 percent in Grand Forks, 3.5 percent in Bismarck, 1.2 percent in Jamestown and 0.7 percent in Fargo.

Fargo's Hector International Airport had 33,580 boardings for the month, its lowest January figure since 2013. But it's still well above the roughly 29,000 passengers that boarded there in January 2010, 2011 and 2012.

The only increase last month was posted in Devils Lake, which had 591 boardings, up 51.5 percent from the previous year.

Nearly all of the state's major airports reported some of the lowest boarding numbers for 2016 overall that they had seen in five years, a decline largely attributed to low oil and agriculture commodity prices, and a weak Canadian dollar that has affected the number of visitors from Canada.