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Work almost completed on passenger bridge at airport

by Chris Olson

Posted on 10/20/2016

Work on the Jetway passenger bridge is just about done, but hands-on training of SkyWest Airlines'' employees on operating the bridge is a little behind.

The Jamestown Regional Airport Authority reviewed an update on the project from Jamestown Regional Airport Manager Sam Seafeldt Wednesday night. Seafeldt said carpet is installed in the interior of the passenger boarding bridge and work on the roof is also just about completed.

Seafeldt said the structure that will connect the bridge to the airport terminal is close to completion as well, with some electrical work that needs to be done. He said all of the "almost completed" work shouldn''t take more than two or three weeks.

Seafeldt said SkyWest Airlines employees are "continually training" on operating the bridge. The company brought in a trainer to train four employees on operating the bridge''s controls. Those four employees will then train the other SkyWest Airlines Jamestown employees on how to operate the bridge in the proper manner.

"The four trainers need to get proficient enough to do it (operate the bridge) themselves," Seafeldt said, "and train others to operate the bridge with an actual airplane."

Jim Boyd, Jamestown Regional Airport Authority chairman, said he hopes the work and training will wrap up soon as he would like the airport to hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony before the weather becomes more winter-like.

Seafeldt said part of the holdup has been over the last few weeks that every time SkyWest has scheduled hands-on training with the passenger bridge, there has been construction work going on and the bridge couldn''t be used.

The Airport Authority paid $32,000 for two passenger-boarding bridgers from Minot International Airport in May. One of the bridges was sold to an aeronautics-related salvage company. The total project cost of buying the bridges and paying for one to be disassembled, transported to Jamestown and reassembled, then installed and connected to the airport terminal is $126,000. The airport received an $88,000 grant from the North Dakota Aeronautics Commission to help cover expenses on the project.

Seafeldt did not provide a set date for when the project will be completed.

In other business, the Jamestown Regional Airport Authority approved 5-0, with members Jeff Wilhelm and Trent Sletto absent, retaining the services of Interstate Engineering as the airport''s engineering consultants. The Airport Authority had a committee review bids from Interstate Engineering and two other engineering firms -HDR Engineering and Taney Engineering. The committee evaluated each firm''s bid and unanimously recommended keeping Interstate Engineering.

The Airport Authority also approved the airport''s 2015 audit conducted by Schauer & Associates, Certified Public Accountants of Jamestown. The audit showed no problems with airport''s 2015 financial numbers.