by Cassandra Isackson
Director, Minnesota DOT Office of Aeronautics
Published in Midwest Flyer – February/March 2017
While Flying Minnesota Airports, please add one word to your flight plan in honor of our commitment to TZD (Toward Zero Deaths) in Aviation, and Fly Minnesota Airports Safely! Fly somewhere you’ve never been before to: test an approach procedure, explore a new community, meet other aviators, ride a courtesy bike, taste local flavors, and admire the beauty of nature all around our great state. During your visit, look around and make a mental note about the unique characteristics that make this airport a special place to visit. Bring some of those ideas back to your home airport to share and improve.
Recent election results have brought new faces to our capitols in Washington D.C. and St. Paul. Budget proposals to support general aviation airports have been presented to legislators in our state and to national congressional members this year. In Minnesota, an appropriation for the State Airports Fund (SAF) is among the items in the Governor’s Budget. Nationally, the FAA’s Airport Improvement Program (AIP) is also up for renewal.
When you Fly Minnesota Airports, remember that your aviation tax dollars are at work bringing improvements to the airport system. The SAF funds a variety of work brought to you by our office, while the AIP brings nearly $60 million in project potential to the state each year. Even if your airport is not eligible for FAA dollars, use of AIP funds at one airport frees up State Airport Funds for use at another airport – maybe yours. Whether your vote was cast on the winning side or not, you may want to meet your local political decision-makers and let them know you support the passage of the federal Airport Improvement Program, and the State Airports Fund portion of the Governor’s Budget Bill in Minnesota.
Please continue to invite us to meetings and events at your airport. We will make every effort to be there.
Keep flying safely!