THREE FORKS — According to Ron Schneider, the director of Jet Aviation at the Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport, ramp space is a huge challenge as more and more people are flying in and out. He says people with smaller and privately owned planes are now choosing to skip the hassle and fly into smaller airports in Gallatin county.
“We do struggle sometimes to find room for all the aircraft and the number of services they require," says Schneider. “Some of the smaller aircraft on the field are getting pushed out of the prime ramp that we are using.”
Due to the influx in traffic at Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport, the Three Forks airport is seeing an increase in business as smaller planes are flying in to avoid the traffic. Board chair of Three Forks airport, John Edwards said pilots are doing this because they can spend about 25 minutes in the air waiting to be able to land at the Bozeman Airport.
Edwards describes Three Forks airport as low-profile with not as much traffic
That’s the biggest thing is it doesn’t have a lot of pressure, says Edwards. “When you don’t have a lot of pressure a pilot can go ahead and take off and land whenever they want and go down the road.”
The Three Forks airport sits on about 100 acres with a total of 60 hangers used to store over 25 aircraft. So far, Three Forks has seen over 175 percent of growth as a result of small avoiding traffic elsewhere. Four more hangers are being built at Three Forks to keep up with this growth.
But there is ONE problem…
“We have no more property to lease,” says Edwards.
Edwards says this is a problem because the airport is expecting even more growth. There is currently a wait-list of 10 people trying to get in and build new hangers on the airport grounds but they’re completely built out. In order to adjust to the rising clientele, The Three Forks airport has a plan to expand by 25 acres. Edwards said that By the end of the year, the airport will have about 70 to 80 airplanes and hangers.
Edwards says his goal is to see a total of 100 hangers at the Three Forks airport.
“That’s all we want to do,” says Edwards. “We just want to make this thing grow.”