Tips For Flying
What You Need to Fly
Airline passengers must show a government-issued photo ID before boarding a plane. Please contact your airline for its specific procedures about acceptable forms of photo identification. Minors (children under 18 years old) are not required to provide a government-issued ID. If a child 2 years and younger is traveling as a lap child, a birth certificate must be presented upon check-in at the airline ticket counter. UPDATE: Starting MAY 3, 2023, you must present either a state-issued Real ID-compliant driver’s license or a Passport to board the aircraft (click here for additional information).
Canadian citizens can use their government-issued driver’s license for boarding a U.S. domestic flight. Canadian licenses are the only foreign licenses currently allowed.
Because of the new TSA enhanced security screening process that has been implemented, passengers should arrive 2 hours before their scheduled departure. The terminal building opens at around 3:00 AM.
The ticket counter closes for check-in usually 40 minutes prior to departure. The airlines require passengers to be at the departure gate at least 30 minutes prior to departure or risk losing your seat or missing the flight. The boarding door to the aircraft is closed approximately 10 minutes before departure time to ensure an on-time departure.
Customers need to be checked-in no less than 45 minutes prior to scheduled departure which is when the Ticket Counter closes and can no longer accept checked luggage.
While at the Airport you can shop in the Airport Gift Shop that features North Dakota made products, eat in the SkyDine Restaurant, grab a Subway or just relax in the lounge. There is even a game room located on the main level. A Lounge/Coffee/Snack Bar and a Gift Shop kiosk are located adjacent Gate 3 & 4 in the departure lounge. There are business centers located throughout the terminal that have comfortable sit-down work areas with free Wi-Fi and 120V power connections.
If you think you might have left an item in the passenger terminal, lost and found is located in the Airport Administration Office located on the second floor next to the Gift Shop.
You may send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with a description of the lost item, where it may have been left, and also your contact information. The email will be forwarded to the airlines, restaurant and TSA. You will be contacted if the item is found.
Emailing is the best option so the notification is distributed to all the entities in the terminal building. You may also contact the Airport Authority office during normal business hours.
Smoking is not allowed in the terminal building. The passenger terminal is a ‘smoke-free’ facility.
Effective Dec. 1, 2012 – North Dakota Law prohibits smoking within 20 feet of a public entrance.
The Airport Information Center can page a passenger if it is staffed at (701) 241-8168.
If someone is unable to use the stairs or the escalator, there is an elevator available to assist a disabled person up to the second-floor areas. The airlines are available to provide wheelchair assistance if requested. Handicapped parking is available in the parking lot for those displaying valid permits. There are also handicap loading areas adjacent to the front doors of the passenger terminal although vehicles must remain attended at all times.
The airlines do not have local phone numbers and are not sufficiently staffed locally to answer phone calls. You may choose to speak to an airline agent in-person at the ticket counter anytime they are not checking in a departing.
All ticketing, flight or baggage information can be answered by calling the airline phone numbers or clicking the websites listed below.
Please be aware that during inclement weather events it may take numerous attempts to talk with an airline representative.
Traveling during inclement weather can be very difficult. The airlines will operate flights as long as the flying conditions allow them to land and depart. Usually, these conditions are worse than the driving conditions.
The airport rarely closes even though weather conditions may not allow the airlines to operate. Corporate, general aviation and medical aircraft operate with different regulations that usually allow them to land and depart in the most adverse conditions.
Many times the roads to and from the airport become blocked and I-29 along with 19th Avenue North between Dakota Dr. and 18th St. will be closed. Dakota Drive from University Ave. at 8th Ave. N. is a good alternate route to the airport during bad weather. Click here for map.
The airport information center can provide flight information at (701) 241-8168 if it is staffed. When is it not staffed, the phone will be forwarded to the automated flight information system that will provide information on flights and other commonly asked questions.
Also, you may check the Flight Status tab that is updated frequently.*** The most accurate source of information is to contact the airline directly to check if the flight is operating and what alternatives there are if you cannot make it to the airport. ***
Please monitor the local news media concerning road closures and flight cancellations. The airlines also post travel advisory waivers on their websites. Check the homepage of the airline you are traveling on to see if they list a waiver. That will inform you how to rebook travel if you need to change your plans.
Yes, for the safety of passengers, it is necessary to show a government-issued photo ID before you are allowed to board a plane. Please contact your airline for their specific procedures regarding acceptable forms of photo identification. Minor children (under 18 years old) are not required to provide a government-issued ID. If a child 2 years and younger is traveling as a lap child, a birth certificate must to be presented upon check-in at the airline ticket counter.
UPDATED – Starting May 3, 2023, you must have a Real ID identification card or a Real ID driver’s license issued by the state to board a flight. You may also use an alternate ID to fly, such as a U.S. passport or passport card. For more information on REAL ID, visit here or you may call TSA at 1-866-289-9673.
Canadian citizens are allowed to use their government-issued driver’s license for boarding a U.S. domestic flight. Canadian licenses are the only foreign licenses that are being allowed.
No tax dollars are used to operate the airport. The Municipal Airport Authority does collect a 2 mil levy from the City of Fargo property tax which is used for funding the airport’s portion of improvement projects. Example: in 2004 the Municipal Airport Authority spent approximately $19 million constructing a runway extension which the Federal Aviation Administration funded $12 million. The airport funded the remaining $7 million.
Hector International Airport is supported completely by user fees. This means those who utilize the airport help to pay for the airport’s operational costs. Any entity that operates on airport property has some form of agreement with the Municipal Airport Authority and pays a rental charge or fee to the airport. Hence, those who purchase airline tickets, rent cars, park at the airport, eat or drink in the restaurant or purchase a gift at the airport are helping to contribute to the operation of the Airport. Those who use the facility help pay for it; others do not.
I just purchased a $400 airline ticket. I was wondering how much of the ticket price goes directly to the Fargo Airport?
The airport currently has a $4.50 passenger facility charge on all tickets departing from Fargo. This fee is used to fund construction (runway/taxiway) projects, terminal improvements, equipment acquisition, repayment of bonds, etc. In addition, the airlines pay the airport on average $3.79 per passenger for airport operational expenses (landing fees, terminal rent, airport fire department, etc.). In total $8.29 from each passenger is paid directly to Hector International Airport.
Currently, the federal government charges a 7.5% tax on all airline tickets. This money is used to fund the Federal Aviation Administration which in turn funds 90% of most aviation projects at airports all over the entire United States.
Hundreds of thousands of people pass through Hector International Airport’s doors each year. The advertising signs located throughout the passenger terminal are managed by ClearChannel Airports. To arrange for an opportunity to advertise at the Airport, contact them at (800) 628-6800 and ask for the Hector International Airport representative.
To purchase tickets, contact the airlines directly or you can contact a travel agent. It is also an option to purchase tickets from the airline ticket counter during normal business hours, but only during times when flights are not departing.
Please do not call the airport for airfare or ticketing information as they cannot assist with this information.
Below are links to each customer comment/complaint section of the airline’s websites. Also included is a link to the Department of Transportation (DOT) Aviation Consumer Protection Division.
The airport is open 24 hours a day, 365 days per year. The passenger terminal building opens at approximately 3:00 AM.
How does the airport handle severe winter weather?
Our key focus is safety. That means Hector Airport has crews keeping the runways, ramps and taxiways safe for aircraft. The airport also takes care of passenger access areas such as the terminal road, parking areas and walkways, with crews clearing snow and using anti-slip products.
What about flights?
Each airline is responsible for its own flights and flight operations, including team members to handle check-in, baggage, boarding, deicing the aircraft, and maintenance.
How do I know if a flight is delayed or cancelled?
Check with your airline before you depart for the airport — or if you are picking someone up, check the flight’s status.
Also, you can download the airline app and sign up for alerts regarding the flight you are tracking.
Who decides to delay or cancel flights?
Each airline makes its own decisions about flight delays, cancellations and travel waivers. Hector Airport does not cancel flights. The airport only reports current conditions as they exist on the runway and the airlines determine if their flights can operate safely within their approved safety requirements.
If there’s bad weather approaching, can I change my flight?
Since airlines handle all flight operations, please contact your airline directly about your options. In severe winter weather, some airlines may issue waivers for travel.
Remember, although the weather may be mild in Fargo, there may be severe winter weather in your connecting city or final destination.
What about vehicle assistance?
Hector Airport’s parking lot services, SP+ Airport Services, also offers complimentary battery jump-starts, tire inflation and vehicle location, as well as snow removal assistance in between cars if requested. For immediate assistance, please call 701-241-1591.
Who handles deicing airplanes?
Hector Airport crews do not deice aircraft. Each airline handles its own de-icing operations, including the equipment, deicing fluid products and the team members that deice the aircraft. Each airline and aircraft type have different FAA-Approved deicing procedures. Currently, there are 7 deicing trucks and thousands of gallons of deicing fluid on hand at all times at Hector Airport. These trucks and deicing fliud are owned by the 4 different ground handling companies that operate the flights. Federal Regulations do not allow one airline to deice another airlines aircraft.
Airplanes are designed to fly “clean.” When an airplane is affected by snow, slush or ice, it creates a potential safety hazard. Deicing is very common at northern airports and it is a carefully regulated process designed for overall flight safety.
How long does it take to deice an airplane?
The process depends on the size of the aircraft, current weather conditions and the length of time that the airplane has been exposed to snow, ice or other conditions. Deicing can cause delays as an aircraft may need different types of deicing products applied. Proper deicing of an aircraft is critical for safe operation of the flight.
Does extreme winter weather affect deicing products?
The airlines use products effective in most winter weather conditions. However, the type 1 propylene glycol that the airlines use is not effective when air temperatures are -27˚ F or colder OR when temperatures are in the -20˚ F range, combined with air moisture, blowing snow and other very extreme conditions. In these cases, flights will be delayed or cancelled until conditions improve to when the deicing products can be effective.
Who controls airplane movement on the airfield (before and during takeoff/landing)?
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Air Traffic Control Tower oversees all airplane movement on the airfield and in the skies.
Does the airport close due to winter weather?
The terminal building remains open despite winter weather. If Hector Airport crews need to clear snow or ice from a runway or other airfield area, there may be a brief interruption of flight operations. If conditions warrant because of ice buildup, heavy snowfall or poor visibility, the runway may be closed for the safety of aircraft operating and the snow removal crews.
For a safe start, check the chart.
Check to see which hazardous materials are allowed in checked and/or carry-on baggage and which ones cannot be carried on at all.
TSA Security Information for travelers.
Enroll now for TSA Pre✓®.
Why should you join TSA Pre✓®?
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View details about general parking at the airport here.