by Cassandra Isackson
Director, Minnesota DOT Office of Aeronautics
Published in Midwest Flyer – Oct/Nov 2016
We are looking toward the end of another great year of safe flying, airport improvements, and learning. Clearly we can see where progress has been made and where we all need to continue putting forth a focused effort to keep aviation safe, viable, and growing.
In fact your Minnesota Office of Aeronautics has begun working on new and better ways to share information with the aviation family across the board. We have asked many of you for your input and we have listened to your thoughts and ideas. This is helping us to not only design and implement improved methods for what we do and how we reach out to everyone, but is also helping us to be prepared to better meet your needs in the near future. We appreciate your input and we are excited about the potential for enhancing what we do and provide for our clientele.
Did you know that the Office of Aeronautics was back at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016? It was a great experience and we received many positive comments from old and new friends alike. With more than 10,000 aircraft and 525,000 people in attendance, the excitement and energy level could not have been much higher! All in all, it was great!
If you haven’t been to EAA AirVenture Oshkosh at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, you have to check it out at least once to experience all things aviation, all in one grand location! It is amazing and inspirational. We hope to see you there in 2017.
We had a booth featuring the theme #fly.MN! We encouraged the hundreds of visitors each day to visit Minnesota’s airports, and to get their photo taken with “Paul Bunyan” and “Babe” (see photo). In addition, several airport managers from Minnesota volunteered to be at the booth with us and spoke to visitors about the recreational opportunities available in their areas. One airport staffer later reported that several pilots stopped by an adjacent town to buy fuel or spend the night on the way home from the fly-in as a result of visiting our booth.
In addition to hosting a booth, the Aeronautics staff participated in technical forums on a wide array of aviation issues. Staff also recruited new businesses to exhibit and speak at the annual spring aviation maintenance conference MnDOT hosts in partnership with the Association for Women in Aviation Maintenance.
Kathy Vesely, assistant director, and I were part of a panel where we discussed “Airport Funding 101 – The Minnesota Experience.” We also met with the staffs of other state aeronautics offices and Federal Aviation Administration officials to discuss the FAA Reauthorization Bill, as well as the hot topic of the day, “drones.” Overall, we had a very successful event.