New Town Airport

Rebuild small regional airport to improve facilities, expand use and improve safety. Airport supports an area seeing substantial population and economic growth.

Ulteig involvement
Ulteig provided planning, funding search, engineering, surveying and project management services.

Project construction initiation date
June 1, 2014

Project outline
The New Town airport was originally constructed in the 1970s, consisting of 21,500 square yards of pavement, three hangars. To meet the needs of the area, the airport needed to be completely reconstructed, replacing and expanding the runway and apron areas, allow for additional aircraft storage, bring sight distance for pilots up to standards, improve terminal facilities, and provide a plan for ongoing operation, maintenance and expansion.

Of particular note is that planning for the project began in 2011, with construction scheduled for 2014. However, funding for the project was redirected to a different airport in early 2014. Replacement funding was developed by New Town airport board members working with North Dakota state legislators. Material and construction bids had been previously arranged and project construction was initiated on schedule.

Notable tasks

  • Remove runway high spot with 2-3 feet of earthwork cuts
  • Shift runway approximately 500 feet to avoid obstructions from section line road
  • Replace and expand runway and aprons
  • Relocate three hangars; add five hangar lots; add two hangars
  • Replace temporary service terminal and sanitary area with permanent structures that include fueling station, and flight planning and pilot rest areas
  • Replace electrical and lighting systems
  • New visual approach aids to provide a guide to aircraft on approach
  • Plan for future expansion of services, to potentially include:
    • Aircraft mechanic
    • Airframe certification business (Fixed Base Operator)
    • Flight school

Final result
The project was completed on October 31, 2014, ahead of the November 1 deadline, and under budget.

Project cost

  • $2.5 million
  • Funding provided by state and local agencies; no federal monies spent

Runway, aprons, general area

  • 3,420 feet x 60 feet new runway
  • 21,500 square yards of pavement removed
  • 31,500 square yards of new pavement
  • 40,000 cubic yards of fill
  • 22,000 square yards of topsoil, stripped and reapplied
  • 15,000 square feet of paint markings (completed in 10 hours)
  • 24 acres reseeding on disturbed areas
  • 5 inch asphalt overlay on 14 inch base
  • 5 tie-down aircraft parking positions

Electric and lighting

  • 19,000 feet new electrical wire
  • 19,000 feet new ground wire and lightning protection wire
  • 55 new edge lights

Planning for the new $273 million Williston Basin International Airport (XWA) began in 2012. Ulteig started working with the City of Williston in 2015 to develop solutions to manage this very high-profile project. Ground was broken on October 10, 2016, and in June 2017 Ulteig began their role as overall program manager. During the project Ulteig managed 29 active contracts, 16 prime contractors, 16 consulting companies and seven tenant projects.

Ulteig’s advanced preparation of an a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Airport Improvement Program application resulted in $112.4 million in funding and allowed the airport to obtain competitive bids and start projects early – thus reducing the project’s timeline by roughly nine months.

The City of Williston also hired Ulteig to provide cultural monitoring staff on the construction site. Facilitated by Ulteig, the FAA consulted with tribal historic preservation officers throughout the XWA project to understand the tribes’ concerns and interests. The construction was continually monitored by Ulteig to make sure those concerns were kept in mind. The FAA will replicate this project’s model for future federally funded projects.

XWA opened on time, on Oct. 10, 2019. It is the first new commercial greenfield airport in the U.S. in over eight years and will greatly improve transportation access to this growing region.