Bismarck Airport's new quick turn-around facility features an automatic car wash tunnel, wash bays, two fueling stations, and storage for rental vehicles. Photo courtesy of Conrac Solutions.

Bismarck Airport's new quick turn-around facility features an automatic car wash tunnel, wash bays, two fueling stations, and storage for rental vehicles. Photo courtesy of Conrac Solutions.

North Dakota’s Bismarck Airport has added a quick turn-around facility (QTA) to consolidate all of its on-airport rental car operations. The facility opened on June 1.

The project was led by Conrac Solutions Project Delivery, the same team who developed consolidated rent-a-car facilities (conracs) in Anchorage and Austin. The project is the first privately developed on-airport QTA in the country.

“This project has been discussed for years,” said Dan Haus, owner of Avis Rent A Car in Bismarck. “It’s always been a priority of the car rental industry and airport to meet the needs of our customers, and by utilizing private delivery to complete the QTA, we were able to achieve a solution that works for everyone.”

Conrac Solutions privately developed the facility by ground-leasing the site from the airport and then managing the design, build, finance, day-to-day operations, and long-term maintenance of the facility, according to the company. Beyond risk mitigation, privatization allows airports to use other airport funds for core projects, such as a runway expansion. A customer facility charge, paid by rental car customers over the lease term, provides debt repayment.

By consolidating car wash facilities, vacuum systems, fueling, and service bays to a single site, airports are able to maximize use of land resources, according to Conrac Solutions. Additionally, the QTA eases traffic and reduces carbon emissions.

The new Bismarck QTA serves the three rental car brands (Avis, Enterprise, and Hertz) with two fuel positions, one automatic car wash tunnel, three quick-prep and manual wash bays, and storage for 430 vehicles, according to Conrac Solutions. The 6,415-square-foot building includes insulated walls, overhead doors, and heated slabs to encompass the service area used to prepare and fuel cars. Fueling is completed from an above-ground tank and includes a usage tracking system dispenser.

Prior to the consolidated QTA operation, the car rental companies each cleaned and maintained cars at separate service centers located a few miles away. Eliminating the need to drive between the service centers and airport decreases vehicle exhaust, traffic, and wear on roadways.

Conrac Solutions will work with The Aspen Group, a local property management firm, to maintain the QTA facility.

“Through our partnership with Aspen, we are able to unite Conrac Solutions’ experience in consolidated rental car sites with a labor and vendor pool local to Bismarck,” said Matthew Fairbanks, president of Conrac Solutions. “Aspen’s regional and local expertise and relationships, backed by Conrac Solutions methodology and innovation, provides the rental car industry with the best value and most cost-effective services.”

“It was terrific to work with the Bismarck Airport to deliver this first-of-its-kind facility,” said Mark Pfeffer, president and CEO of Conrac Solutions Project Delivery. “We saw what was important to the Airport and worked hard to deliver so they could focus on other priorities. In the end, we achieved what we proposed: design, build, finance, operate and maintain an asset the City of Bismarck and rental car companies can be proud of – on schedule and within budget.”

“The airport and city of Bismarck are pleased to see the completion of the car rental quick turn-around facility,” said Greg Haug, director of Bismarck Airport. “The building looks great and fits in well with the terminal and its surroundings. We’d like to thank everyone who helped make this facility a reality and look forward to the increased customer service this facility will provide for the traveling public.”