North Dakota's largest airport looking to expand

The expansion will improve air traffic flow and allow more room for concessions and recreation areas.

Hector International Airport on June 30, 2022.
Chris Flynn / The Forum
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FARGO — Hector International Airport is in the process of conducting a terminal area study to expand from five gates to nine. The study is expected to be completed in September, and an approval process will follow.

“The goal would be to break ground in the spring of 2024, probably be about a two-year project with all of the phasing that needs to be done. The disruption of the existing space, and how we accommodate passengers and airlines,” said Hector executive director Shawn Dobberstein.

In August, people will be able to see what the ideas for the expansion are. The project is expected to cost $115 million.

Flight Delays

Like many airports around the country, North Dakota's largest airport is facing challenges with flight delays as well. The increase in flight cancellations and delays are due to storms and a nationwide pilot shortage.


Travelers check in at Hector International Airport in Fargo on June 30, 2022.
Chris Flynn / The Forum

To avoid frustration, Dobberstein encourages travelers to use airline tracker apps to check flight statuses. He says it is an issue that will be around for a while.

Inclement weather has set back the repair schedule for the plane, which has been grounded since February.

“Just be patient. The flight cancellations and delays, it's not going to get any better. It's probably going to get worse just as the industry struggles with the pilot situation right now,” he said.

The pilot shortage has created issues traveling to the hub cities Dallas, Chicago and Denver.

Travelers go through security at Hector International Airport in Fargo on June 30, 2022.
Chris Flynn / The Forum

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