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Jamestown Regional Airport will set new annual record for paid boardings

by Chris Olson

Posted on 12/22/2016

Jamestown Regional Airport will likely see more than 11,000 paid passenger boardings for 2016 by Dec. 31, which would set a new annual record.

Jamestown Regional Airport Authority members reviewed the number of paid passenger boardings in November for SkyWest Airlines at its meeting Wednesday. There were 932 paid passenger boardings in November. It was also during November when the 10,000th paid passenger boarded a flight in Jamestown.

Airport Manager Samuel Seafeldt said he thought the November number would be higher, but a couple of flights were canceled due to weather.

"Our goal (for 2016) was to average 834 (paid passengers) per month," he said. "We''re plus 100 on that, averaging about 995."

By having 10,000 paid passengers in a year, Jamestown Regional Airport is eligible to receive $1 million in entitlement funding from the Federal Aviation Administration. For 2016 the airport received $150,000 in entitlement funding. Authority Chairman Jim Boyd said the airport will receive the increased funding in 2018.

Seafeldt estimated the airport will have 992 paid passenger boardings in December, which would set a new record for the month.

Boyd said the airport has undergone a lot of changes, most being positive, in 2016. The Airport Authority was able to purchase a used Jetway passenger-boarding bridge from Minot International Airport earlier this year. He said the bridge is now in use for most flights and provides a covered walkway for passengers between the terminal and the airplane on commercial passenger flights.

Work is pretty much done on expanding the secured seating area. The new secured area has room for 50 seats, which is the same as the number of seats available on the commercial passenger jet aircraft used by United Express on flights between Jamestown and Devils Lake regional airports and Denver International Airport.

Boyd said the Airport Authority''s commercial air service committee is planning on having an open house in the spring to "show off" all the new things happening at the airport to the public.

In other business, the Airport Authority approved a 4 percent merit pay increase for Kimberlee Mickelson, the airport''s office manager, which will increase her hourly rate by 59 cents to $15.24 an hour.

The authority also approved $200 bonuses to the airport''s four full-time staff members - Seafeldt, Mickelson, Ben Maulding and Justin Hatch.