The Start of A Great New Year!

by Cassandra Isackson
Director, Minnesota DOT Office of Aeronautics

Days are getting longer; I even saw the sun for a moment on my way to work this morning. We don’t want to wish away the “ski-plane” fly-in season, but there is a lot to look forward to as spring approaches. We continue to listen to you, your airport boards, and city/county leaders around the state as we attend Needs Meetings. What we learn about your airport helps MnDOT Aeronautics develop a more complete picture of the airport system needs across the state. We’ll share that picture with our partners, including other MnDOT offices, the State Legislature, FAA, and the U.S. Congress. Transportation and Aviation will be hot topics at the state and national levels this year. Make sure your elected officials know how important your airport is to you, and what needs it has for the future. The best chance of success for our aviation future is when we all share the same vision – and work toward it together.

April 20th to 22nd, the Minnesota Council of Airports (MCOA) will host the 2016 Minnesota Airports Conference at Madden’s in Brainerd, Minnesota. This year’s conference will be jam packed with information for airports of all sizes. It’s a great opportunity to learn best practices for your airport, network with peers, speak one-to-one with specialty service vendors, check in with us, and learn about the latest technologies. There will be a session about unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) or drones that I don’t want to miss and I think you’ll feel the same way. Getting registered is a snap at Don’t worry; it won’t be all work. Choose a job you love, and you’ll never have to work a day in your life (Confucius). There’ll be time for relaxed fun, good food, and great conversation!

Exactly a month later, also at Madden’s, the Minnesota Seaplane Pilots Association (MSPA) will bring you its Spring Safety Seminar, May 20th to 22nd. Aircraft will be switching skis for floats for the splash-in. More details will be available at

Please remember that your Minnesota Aeronautics Office staff is here to help and advise you. We want to hear your questions and suggestions. Check out new ways to “Connect With Us” in the upper left corner of our home page at

I hope that you will continue to invite me to your airport meetings, so we can meet face to face and I have the opportunity to learn more about you, your airport, and your community. Together, we can have a great new year!

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