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GFK ranked 17th busiest airport in U.S.

The Grand Forks International Airport recently was ranked the 17th busiest airport in the country, up from 21st in 2011. The ranking is based on the number of operations (take-offs and landings) reported by the Federal Aviation Administration at each airport in the country. The vast majority of GFK's operations are UND student pilots.

The Grand Forks airport also set operational records in 2009 and 2011. With two months left in the year, David Cink, the manager of the Federal Aviation Administration Air Traffic Control Tower at Grand Forks, is estimating the total 2012 operational count to be 370,000, another record. As of the end of September, the airport had 292,142 operations, an increase of 24,090 from last year's pace.

GFK is home to UND's John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences flight training program; a regional distribution system flown by Federal Express; air carrier service from Delta Air Lines, United Airlines and Allegiant; and GFK Flight Support. GFK is operated by the Grand Forks Regional Airport Authority, whose commissioners are appointed by the City of Grand Forks and Grand Forks County.