Connect Blogs

Meeting Future Demands of Rural Airport Planning and Design

Crowded hangers, short runways, a lackluster passenger experience, and insufficient parking spaces were just a few issues plaguing the New Town Municipal Airport in rural North Dakota. Built in 1970, this antiquated airport was in desperate need of renovations that would require a fresh prospective from top aviation engineering experts.

Shortly after Ulteig was selected to take on the New Town Municipal Airport project, the extensive 3 year planning phase began. With other regional airports looking to complete similar improvements, obtaining approval for the $2.5 million renovation plan was the first obstacle the team had to overcome. Thanks to a collaborative  effort  between the New Town Municipal Airport board members and N.D. state legislators, plans were approved and the project was officially set to break ground in 2014.

Transforming the New Town Municipal Airport into a 21st century gateway for transportation was a major reconstruction effort that would require far more than simple repairs and adjustments. Ulteig employed over 40 years of aviation expertise when designing these extensive upgrades and improvements.

The process to expand transportation access throughout the airport began by replacing the aprons and adding an additional 425 feet in length to accommodate larger planes. Additional hanger space will allow the airport to house larger planes and ultimately service more passengers more efficiently. To increase convenience levels for travelers, supplementary parking spaces were appended. In order to continue improving the overall passenger experience, a dedicated service terminal along with a newly designed sanitary area became a focal point for the redesign. An entirely new lighting system was at the core of construction plans as a means to stay ahead of rising safety standards. The complete redesigning of the runway included a 500 foot extension – making the municipal airport more attractive to air travelers. Throughout the design process, Ulteig kept the sustainable integrity of this rural airport in mind. Future expansion projects may include additional service offerings such as aircraft mechanics and flight schools.

About the author