Where the Oil Boom Is Making Airports Zoom

Workers headed for the Bakken fields flood once-sleepy terminals
Minot International Airport Photograph by Warren Pietsch

It wasn’t long ago that North Dakota was considered a flyover state. Now the booming shale-oil business has made the state’s airfields bright spots in an era of flagging small airports. Delta Air Lines and United Continental Holdings have added flights in Williston, Minot, and Dickinson to shuttle workers for the likes of Whiting Oil & Gas and Baker Hughes to the Bakken fields in the western corner of the state. Scoring a seat is often difficult. And getting to the middle of nowhere isn’t cheap: A round-trip Delta flight from New York to Minot on April 22 cost $1,284, double the cost of a New York-Los Angeles round trip.

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