North Dakota Airline Boardings Reflect Slump in Oil Industry

Airline boardings in North Dakota last year reflected the downturn in the oil industry, declining after seven consecutive years of growth.

Mnet 122772 Airplane

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Airline boardings in North Dakota last year reflected the downturn in the oil industry, declining after seven consecutive years of growth.

About 1.18 million people boarded planes at the eight commercial airports in the state, down 5 percent from the 2014 record of 1.24 million. The state Aeronautics Commission says it was the first yearly drop since 2007.

Aeronautics Commissioner Kyle Wanner cites the oil slowdown, a poor year in agriculture and a weaker Canadian dollar as reasons for the drop, which was most evident at western airports. Williston's drop was 8 percent, Minot's 18 percent and Dickinson's 29 percent.

Wanner says the decline needs to be put in perspective, considering passenger numbers have grown by 78 percent over the last 10 years.

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