Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

Aeronautics and Aviation

Fly Minnesota!

Office of Aeronautics Building Sign

Office of Aeronautics Services

This office administers state and federal funds for municipal airport development, maintenance, and operation; regulates, inspects, and licenses aviation operations; enforces statutes and rules relating to aviation; registers aircraft and assists communities with aviation planning and air service issues. It also provides radio and visual navigational aids; electrical and lighting systems; collects and disseminates weather information for pilots; disseminates aviation education and safety information; conducts several programs to promote aviation; and furnishes air transportation service for state officials and employees performing official business

Office Director

Cassandra Isackson
cassandra.isackson@state.mn.us
651-234-7210

Assistant Office Director

Kathy Vesely
kathy.vesely@state.mn.us
651-234-7193

Office Sections

Administrative Support Section

Brad Swanson, Manager
brad.swanson@state.mn.us
651-234-7211

This section oversees the function of personnel and payroll transactions; accounting, purchasing/inventory control; secretarial support; budget preparation; monitors the spending plan; training coordination; and facilitates management of the Aeronautics office building.

Air Transportation Section

Barry Erickson, Chief Pilot
barry.erickson@state.mn.us
651-234-7224

This section provides air transportation in MnDOT-owned aircraft for MnDOT and other state employees, the Legislature, and constitutional officers when conducting official business. The aircraft used are two Beechcraft King Air's, one with eight passenger capacity and one with five passenger capacity. Aircraft are scheduled on receipt of a telephone request, followed by a written air travel request.

This section also offers "air shuttle" service to cities with MnDOT offices. Service is provided every Tuesday to Bemidji and Detroit Lakes. The schedule is designed to conform closely to normal work hours and allows users about six hours at each destination. Shuttle flights depart from Signature Flight Support (formerly Regent Aviation) at the St. Paul Downtown Airport (Holman Field) at 7 a.m. and return at approximately 5:15 p.m. Service on the shuttle is available to other state agencies on a space available basis. Contact this section regarding availability.

This section is responsible for investigating the most expeditious and cost effective commercial flight options available for authorized MnDOT travel through an on line commercial reservation system. Once approval from the Division Director has been received tickets are ordered and delivered to the appropriate office. If requested, rental cars or hotels can be arranged.

To determine whether it's more cost effective to fly or to drive use the Fly/Drive Calculator.

Aircraft Registration Unit

Brad Swanson, Manager
brad.swanson@state.mn.us
651-234-7211

This unit maintains aircraft registration files and tax records for all general aviation aircraft based in Minnesota; determines fees and collects aircraft registration taxes; ensures that mandatory provisions of the aircraft insurance act are met; ensures sales taxes are collected on aircraft sales; makes field verification of aircraft registration; and provides information regarding sales tax, insurance, and registration requirements. To register an aircraft, write to this unit or call 651-234-7201. This unit will provide the necessary forms and the amount of the required fee, which is based on the manufacturer's list price and the year of the aircraft. New registrations take approximately two weeks to complete. Renewal registrations are sent out in May and are due July 1.

Airport Development Section

Kathy Vesely
Phone: 651-234-7193
E-mail: kathy.vesely@state.mn.us

The Airport Development Section provides technical and financial assistance to municipalities for the continued development and maintenance of the existing airports identified in the Minnesota State System of Airports. Technical and administrative assistance is provided to publicly owned airports in areas such as airport planning; site selection; airport zoning; airspace issues; airport layout plans; project development and programming; land acquisition; project design; construction management; maintenance activities; and equipment purchases.

Aviation Education Section

This section's functions are to form liaisons with industry to identify education and training needs with education institutions delivering aviation training and with state and federal officials to ensure support for aviation education programs. This section also manages aviation training funds; coordinates Minnesota's programs with surrounding states and directs aviation industry needs assessment. Educators, students, the aviation community and the general public are served by enhancing awareness and knowledge of aviation and its role in society.

This section is a key partner in Aviation Career Awareness Days; Aviation Career Education (ACE) Camp; Discover Aviation Days; International Aviation Art Contest; and the Washburn Aviation and Aerospace Magnet School Advisory Council which meets monthly and is made up of 40 representatives from K-12 schools, post secondary institutions, government agencies and private industry.

The section also developed, published the Historical Aircraft DOT-TO-DOT Book (elementary level); the Minnesota Aviation Facts Booklet (general public); the Minnesota Aviation Pages(secondary level); the Sky's The Limit Book, volumes I-IV; The History and Physics of Flight; Wind, Water and Wings (elementary aviation reading/activity books); the International Aviation Art Contest Calendar (general public); and an Aviation Career Brochure (secondary level).

Staff members provide classroom presentations on a variety of aviation topics for grades K through 12. Developed materials are provided free of charge.

Aviation Operations Section

Bob Milton, Manager
bob.milton@state.mn.us
651-234-7250

The activities of the Aviation Operations section focuses on safety, aircraft registration, licensing of airports, heliports, seaplane bases and commercial operators. This section annually updates and publishes an Airport Directory and Travel Guide and publishes an Aeronautical Chart every other year; sponsors aerospace safety education programs for pilots, such as the Seaplane Conference and safety seminars; administers the Minnesota Weather Access System (MnWAS) and broadcasts weather information on Twin Cities Public Television, TPT 17.

Aviation Planning Section

MnDOT Aeronautics Planning has the responsibility to:

  • conduct and coordinate statewide and regional strategic, system, and master planning for aviation;
  • provide aviation involvement in intermodal planning activities;
  • maintain an aviation data base, and distribute information to internal and external audiences;
  • assist the owners of publicly-owned airports in developing appropriate airport improvements;
  • ensure Minnesota airport zoning ordinances meet minimum safety standards;
  • develop forecasts of aviation activity and revenue needs;
  • assist and support Minnesota communities with scheduled air service matters;
  • assist airport owners in meeting federal and state environmental requirements;
  • monitor aviation issues and legislation; and coordinate special programs and policy initiatives

Navigation Systems Section

Bob Milton, Manager
bob.milton@state.mn.us
651-234-7250

The functions of this section are to establish, operate and maintain electronic navigation aids to augment the federal system in Minnesota; installs, maintains and upgrades radio navigational aids such as Very High Frequency Omnidirectional Radio Range (VOR) systems, Distance Measuring Equipment (DME), Non-Directional Beacons, and Instrument Landing Systems (ILS). This section provides technical, planning and financial assistance to publicly-owned airports for airport electrical systems. Examples are upgrading lighting systems, power distribution systems, visual navigation aids, and radio controllers for airport lights. This section is also responsible for installing and maintaining Automated Weather Stations Systems (AWOS) at Minnesota public airports and for collecting and disseminating aviation weather information to pilots through use of electronic devices.