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Preventing the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19)

We have always practiced stringent cleaning and disinfecting processes at Hector International Airport, and we have increased efforts even further in high-touch areas throughout the passenger terminal. These include common areas, ticketing, security, gate areas, boarding bridges and baggage claim.
Here are some things you can do to stay safe and informed:

  • Consult health professionals for advice on traveling, especially if you have stress or anxiety about current COVID-19 reports.
  • Consult your airline if you need to change your flight or if have questions about any restrictions to your destination.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

While this remains a fluid and rapidly evolving situation, together we are equipped to handle what comes. Things will get better.


City of Fargo and MAA reach agreement on new MOU

The City of Fargo and Fargo Municipal Airport Authority (MAA) reached an agreement on a new memorandum of understanding (MOU) on Jan. 14, 2020. The agreement was deemed effective Jan. 1, 2020. The MOU clarifies that airport employees are City of Fargo employees FOR PURPOSES OF:

  • Payroll system
  • Pension
  • Health insurance and other benefits

This designation is in accordance with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regulations pertaining to third party payer arrangements-professional employer organizations (PEO). The City of Fargo acts as the third party PEO due to the Municipal Airport Authority decision to outsource payroll services at this time.
 
The airport is the common-law employer responsible for hiring or appointing the executive director. The executive director is the appointing authority of all other airport employees, administering airport-specific policies, training and procedures; and establishing policies that have been suggested or mandated by the aviation industry or Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
 
The MOU also clarifies fiscal responsibilities and states that NO CITY FUNDS are expended for payroll of airport employees or services. ALL salaries, pension, insurance, property tax benefits and operations are paid from airport-generated dollars and Hector pays the City of Fargo an annual fee for services, which is reviewed and approved by the FAA. The FAA and Municipal Airport Authority (MAA) monitor and manage funds in accordance with federal regulations.
 
The MOU also illustrates the MAA’s top priority to see efficiencies in all aspects of operation, which is why they have always participated and will continue to participate in the annual City audit conducted by Eide Bailly. This includes the review of the operations and maintenance account, state and federal grants and passenger facility charges. There have never been any prior discrepancies.
 
The MAA and Hector International Airport look forward to an improved partnership with the City of Fargo and consider it an honor to serve the Fargo region. With the main priorities of travelers’ safety and satisfaction, the airport will continue to work with the City in order to best position itself to attain those goals for everyone flying Fargo.


Cosgriff appointed to Airport Authority

Fargo Mayor Tim Mahoney appointed John Cosgriff, former Fargo City Commissioner, to the Municipal Airport Authority for a five-year term on April 8. He will replace Dr. Virginia Clark Johnson, whose five year term ended April 8th. We extend our appreciation to Dr. Virginia Clark Johnson for her 20 years of dedicated service to the Municipal Airport Authority.
 
Municipal Airport Authority board members include:

  • Chair – Tammy Linn
  • Vice-Chair – Erik Lind
  • Rick Engen
  • John Cosgriff
  • Maj. Gen. Mike Haugen (Ret.)

Global Entry Enrollment Workshop postponed

The Fargo Global Enrollment Workshop scheduled for April 6-8 has been postponed because the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CPB) has temporarily suspended operations at Trusted Traveler Programs nationwide. No new date has been set at this time.

CBP’s highest priority is to ensure the health, safety and security of its workforce and the American people. CBP agents, officers and mission support personnel will continue to support the whole-of-government response to the COVID-19 outbreak. More information about Trusted Traveler Programs is available here.


REAL ID enforcement deadline extended

The Department of Homeland Security is extending the REAL ID enforcement deadline one year to Oct. 1, 2021. The delay is due to the federal, state and local response to fight the spread of the coronavirus in the U.S. States across the country are temporarily closing or restricting access to DMVs, which prevents millions of people from applying for and receiving their REAL ID. Extending the deadline will allow the Department to work with Congress to implement needed changes to expedite the issuance of REAL IDs once the current health crisis concludes.


ArtWORKS installation and musical performance celebrate creativity through collaboration

The Arts Partnership debuted a new series of art at Hector International Airport on Feb. 18. The ArtWORKS program, dedicated to placing art in the public realm, is in its second year at Hector International Airport. The exhibition features recent work by artist Marcella Rose. Six oil paintings, which incorporate gold leaf, reflect Rose’s deep belief that time spent in nature has the same reflective, intimate and healing effect as time spent in a temple, church or other sacred place.

The ArtWORKS program also offered a musical performance by local artist Matt Johnson on Friday, March 13. Johnson plays guitar and sings vocals with his band, The Human Element. Learn more about Matt and his band, here.

There were two additional ArtWORKS musical performances planned for Friday, March 20 and Tuesday, March 24 at Hector International Airport, but they were postponed until further notice as a precautionary measure due to coronavirus concerns. The two performances from David Allen and the Silver Winds Flute Quartet will be rescheduled for a future date. Plans are still on track to continue the program into the foreseeable future.


Spotlight

Bernie Ness, owner, Avis, Budget and Payless car rental
You might not recognize Bernie Ness, but his car rental businesses have been a fixture at Hector since 1971 when he, his father and his sister purchased the Avis franchise from its previous owners.

Fifty years in this busy, 24/7 industry later, Bernie still owns the business but has since stepped away from day-to-day operations. He says getting customer service right has been the secret to his longtime success.

“Rates have to be competitive, but it comes down to quality of your vehicles, cleanliness, and how you interact with the customer that determines whether they’ll rent from you again, and there’s an awful lot of repeat business,” Bernie says.

Now in his 70s, Bernie says it’s nearly time to fully retire. His daughter, Dani Arnold, currently manages daily operations and is taking the reins, meaning the family business Bernie help build will stay in the family for years to come.



Q1 2020 boarding statistics

January 2020 was the 10th consecutive month of record enplanements with 43,556, an increase of 17.7% when compared to last January’s passenger enplanements of 37,000.

Total passenger count for the month was 84,294, which is up 17.9%over the same period last year. There were 635 air carrier departures with an average of 86 seats per flight in January and an average of 2,719 total daily passengers.

February 2020 was the 11th consecutive month of record enplanements with 44,946, an increase of 18.2% when compared to February 2019 passenger enplanements of 38,035. Total passenger count for the month was 89,133,which is up 19.8% over the same period last year.

There were 628 air carrier departures with an average of 86 seats per flight in February and an average of 3,074 total daily passengers.

March 2020 passenger enplanements were 25,618, a 39% decrease when compared to the March 2019 passenger enplanements of 42,630. Total passenger count for the month was 58,440, which is down 32.6% over the same period last year.

There were 619 air carrier departures with an average of 84 seats per flight in March and an average of 1,885 total daily passengers.

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