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Hector International Airport Awarded “2020 Commercial Service Airport of the Year”

Fargo’s Hector International Airport received the “2020 Commercial Service Airport of the Year” award. The award is for excellence in maintaining safety, project management, and community outreach and is sponsored by the North Dakota Aeronautics Commission in partnership with the Airport Association of North Dakota.

2020 Accomplishments include:

  • 2020 saw airports across the country face unprecedented challenges as the COVID-19 pandemic caused a historic decrease in commercial air travelers due to public health concerns. Hector International Airport worked hard to rise to the challenge, ramping up cleaning efforts to protect passengers and employees and investing in a robot vacuum unit to allow airport staff to focus on sanitizing vital areas throughout the facility.
  • In December, the North Dakota Army National Guard started offering rapid-result COVID-19 testing at the airport terminal to help protect families and the community.
  • Hector International Airport boasted a busy and rapidly growing air cargo facility. 2020 was a record year with more than 420 million pounds of cargo flown through airport and a growth of 7.5% over the previous year. To support these operations, the airport is in the midst of a$15.9 million project that will greatly expand the air cargo aircraft apron and enhance capacity.

Col. Mitch Johnson assumes Command

The North Dakota Air National Guard’s 119th Wing, known as the “Happy Hooligans”, welcomed Col. Mitch Johnson as new commander during a change of command ceremony held at the Air National Guard base in Fargo, on March 6, 2021. Col. Darrin Anderson relinquished command to Col. Johnson in a ceremony lead by N.D. National Guard adjutant general Maj. Gen. Al Dohrmann.

Col. Johnson began his career in the U.S. Air Force as a second lieutenant in May 1997 from the U.S. Air Force ROTC Detachment 400 at Michigan Technological University and earned his master’s degree in 1998 from an Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) Civilian Institution Program. Johnson served in multiple flying assignments with the U.S. Air Force’s Air Mobility Command (AMC), Air Education and Training Command (ATEC) and Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) during his 12 years of active-duty service. He has commanded at both the group and squadron level, piloted tactical airlift, special operations attack, remotely piloted aircraft worldwide and is credited with overseas service on six deployments. Johnson commanded the 119th Operations Group and was the vice commander of the 119th Wing prior to assuming command.


NDANG receives outstanding unit award for the 22nd year in a row

The North Dakota Air National Guard’s 119th Wing formally accepted the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award (AFOUA) for the 22nd time during a ceremony at their Fargo air base, March 6, 2021. Maj. Gen. Al Dohrmann, North Dakota adjutant general, placed the award on the 119th Wing’s colors, commending the Hooligan Airmen for their exceptional service and mission accomplishment which contributed to this high-level recognition.

The AFOUA is awarded by the Secretary of the U.S. Air Force to numbered units of the active-duty Air Force, U.S. Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard that have distinguished themselves by exceptionally meritorious service or outstanding achievement, including successful involvement with combat operations or exposure to hostile actions by an opposing foreign force.


U.S. Department of Transportation launches “Mask Up” campaign

In an effort to inform travelers of federal law requiring the wearing of mask by travelers, the U.S. Department of Transportation has launched a “Mask Up” campaign. The campaign provides assets to federal transportation entities reminding passengers of legal requirements, which follow Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidance. Watch the video here.


Non-Stop Service to LAX Returns

Allegiant Air has announced the return of its direct flight to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) beginning June 2 through August 14, 2021. This offering provides regional travelers with a sunny solution for a great getaway. From breathtaking beach and mountain views to world-class dining, Los Angeles has something to offer everyone.

The nonstop route via Hector International Airport (FAR) will operate twice weekly. Flight days, times and fares are available at Allegiantair.com.


The Arts Partnership Celebrates Spring Break with Live Musical Performances

The ArtWORKS program at Hector International Airport hosted weekly musical performances by local artists throughout the month of March. Performances ran weekly over the lunch hour and will feature Minnesota State University Moorhead students, alumnae and faculty. Performers included:

  • Kara Brusven
  • Abraham Tabares
  • Dr. Earnest Lamb
  • Anna Jennings and Connor Lee
  • Andrew McFarlane

Acts were comprised of primarily solo and duo performances, positioned by the café on the 2nd floor. The ArtWORKS program brings dynamic exhibits of art into the public realm. Hector International Airport is a strong supporter of local art.


Congratulations to Major General Haugen

Hector International Airport would like to extend a huge congratulations and thank you to Major General Haugen. Major General Haugen enlisted in the North Dakota Air National Guard in 1967 and served in aircraft maintenance. He received his commission in 1970 and completed Undergraduate Pilot Training in 1972. He has served in various assignments and command positions at the squadron, group and wing level. Major General Haugen assumed the duties of the adjutant general of North Dakota on December 19th, 2000, commanding 4,500 North Dakota Air and Army National Guard men and women, with approximately 1,100 full time federal and state employees.

Now retired, Major General Haugen has served on the Board of the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery Foundation; the Fargo Municipal Airport Authority (serving as Chair in 2019); the Fargo-Moorhead-West Fargo Chamber of Commerce Military Affairs Committee; Air National Guard Support Group of the Chamber; Fargo Air-Sho committee; a volunteer with the North Dakota Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve; a member of Fargo American Legion Post 2; and Chairmen of the Wall of Honor program. The impact created by his service and continued support to the National Guard and the State of North Dakota has endured beyond his military and civic careers and is anticipated well into the future. He is a proud recipient of the 2021 “Always Ready, Always There”. Major General Haugen is a command pilot with more than 11,000 hours of flying time. Aircraft flown include: T-37, T-38, F-101, F-4D, C-131, Convair 580, Boeing 737, and F-16.


Q1 2021 Boarding Statistics

This quarter marked the one-year anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic. While Hector International Airport is seeing reduced traveler numbers compared to typical statistics, passenger numbers are exceeding our expectations and continue to increase.

January 2021 was the tenth full month since the COVID-19 pandemic halted most air travel. Hector International Airport had a decrease in enplanements with 18,402, a decrease of 58.0 percent when compared to last January’s passenger enplanements of 43,556.

Total passenger count for the month was 37,431, which is down 56.0 percent over the same period last year. There were 455 air carrier departures with an average of 79 seats per flight in January and an average of 1,207 total daily passengers.

February 2021 is the eleventh month since the pandemic halted almost all air travel. Hector International Airport had a decrease in enplanements with 23,626, a decrease of 47.0 percent when compared to last February’s passenger enplanements of 44,946.

The total passenger count for the month was 45,509, which is down 49.0 percent over the same period last year. There were 432 air carrier departures with an average of 88 seats per flight in February and an average of 1,625 total daily passengers.

March 2021 marks one year since the pandemic halted almost all air travel. Hector International Airport had a decrease in enplanements with 33,429, an increase of 31 percent when compared to last March’s passenger enplanements of 25,618. Total enplanements were down 36 percent when compared to March 2019.

The total passenger count for the month was 66,855, which is up 12 percent over the same period last year. There were 572 air carrier departures with an average of 87 seats per flight in March and an average of 2,157 total daily passengers.

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