Airport leaders gather in Aberdeen

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Airport leaders from North and South Dakota are gathering in Aberdeen to discuss ways to improve air travel in the two states.

"Basically what we're doing is we're meeting with our counterparts from different airports and Federal agencies to get together to learn about airport grants and the rules and regulations surrounding those grants," Jack Dokken, the Program Manager for the South Dakota Department of Transportation Office of Air, Rail, and Transit said.

This is the first year the conference has been held in Aberdeen in it's two decade long history.

"We have over 100 people here that showed up for the conference," Todd Syhre, the Watertown Regional Airport Manager and the South Dakota Airport Managers Association President, said.

The meeting focuses on ways to improve airports big and small, and ultimately create a better experience for travelers.

"It's a chance for smaller, general aviation to come and ask their questions, this gives them an opportunity to come and hit the experts," Syhre said.

Much of the conversation this year is revolving around how to best use Federal Grant money.

"We take the time and work with the FAA, and get together with them so they can share new policies that are coming out and share how they'd like to see things done and so our projects can run smoothly sand be successful," Matthew Remynse, President of the Airport Association of North Dakota, said.

The brainstorming happening here creates an opportunity to trade ideas and create new ones in an effort to make air travel in both Dakota's as smooth as possible.

"We deal with a lot of the same type of issues and each airport is different and handles it different so it's nice to just get together and network with our counterparts in South Dakota," Remynse said.

The conference is a two day event that will continue through tomorrow.