by Cassandra Isackson
Director, Minnesota DOT Office of Aeronautics
Published in Midwest Flyer – December 2017/Janaury 2018 issue
Have you ever attended a “Needs Meeting” for your airport? Nearly two-thirds of Minnesota’s publicly-owned airports have completed their needs meetings for this first cycle.
What is a Needs Meeting, you might ask? Well, many people know what a Capital Improvement Program (CIP) is, but in case you aren’t sure, a CIP is used to plan and program the projects that will preserve and develop Minnesota’s system of publicly-owned airports. Airport Needs Meetings are a larger, more detailed conversation including a wider range of topics than the traditional CIP.
At a Needs Meeting, we’d like to learn the airport sponsor’s view on: existing airport conditions, financial support, technical support, community vision, navigation systems and a 20-year future!
The larger conversation involves more participants. This is when we would like to see representation from the local government including:
• Elected Officials (City/County) / Airport Board Members
• Zoning Administrator and/or Local Planner
• City Administrator or City Clerk
• Airport Manager
• Airport Consultant
The MnDOT’s Office of Aeronautics staff will include:
• The Director (Cassandra Isackson) or Assistant Director (Kathy Vesely)
• Airport Development Regional Team Member
• Regional Planner
• Aviation Representative
With more people involved in the meeting and a wider range of topics, it is likely that the meeting could take between two and three hours to complete, depending upon the interest of the participants and the complexity of the issues.
The things we can learn from talking to the decision-makers of your airport and community will help us develop a more complete picture of Minnesota’s airport system needs. We’ll use that picture to better inform other partners at MnDOT, the State Legislature, the FAA, and our U.S. Congress.
For those who haven’t yet had a Needs Meeting, we look forward to hearing from you about possible days/times to meet with you. Thanks! Have a great holiday season!