Grand Forks airport closed to commercial flights

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Published: Aug. 22, 2022 at 8:35 PM CDT
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - The Grand Forks International Airport is closed to commercial flights until September 2.

On Facebook, the airport shared pictures of crews working into the night on the runway intersection. They say the crews working are 24-hour shifts in order to get the work done as quickly as possible.

Ryan Riesinger, Executive Director of the Grand Forks Regional Airport Authority, tells us the closure is required to complete reconstruction of the intersection of two runways. When the intersection is under construction, there is not a long enough portion of runway remaining for larger aircraft. He says the construction was in consultation with the airlines and UND Aerospace.

He says there were many factors that were considered as part of determining the preferred closure period, including seasonal weather (late August is historically a drier weather period and we attempted to avoid going much into September); UND Aerospace’s semester schedule and temporary slowdown period at the very beginning of the fall semester was preferred; and the FAA grant schedule, as the project is dependent on available FAA funding and is $10 million.  In addition, Riesinger says late August and the month of September are historically the lowest passenger travel period of the year, and the intersection work is the only phase of construction over 7 years that will result in a closure for all large aircraft.