Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

Congressional Transportation Status Report

District 3


MnDOT District 3 Aeronautics

A map of MnDOT District 3 airports.

A map of MnDOT District 3 airports. Click or tap to enlarge image.

MnDOT Aeronautics enables safe, fast and reliable air transportation for the citizens and businesses of Minnesota through partnership and innovation.

District 3 Airports

Publicly Funded
Bold = Airline Served

  • Aitkin
  • Backus
  • Brainerd
  • Brooten
  • Buffalo
  • Cambridge
  • Clarissa
  • East Gull Lake
  • Little Falls
  • Long Prairie
  • Longville
  • Maple Lake
  • Milaca
  • Mora
  • Pine River
  • Princeton
  • Remer
  • St. Cloud
  • Sauk Centre
  • Staples

In District 3, two large airports provide airline service from the St. Cloud Regional Airport (STC) and Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport (BRD). 18 smaller airports and landing strips in the district provide a lifeline connecting communities and their businesses to the Twin Cities, the U.S. and the world.

Statewide Initiatives

The State Aviation System Plan (SASP) is a comprehensive plan that guides the development of Minnesota's system of airports and directs funding in a cost-effective manner. Efforts to update the plan began in 2017.

State-funded Programs for airport planning and improvements include the following:

Federally-funded Programs (Federal Aviation Administration)

Airport Improvement Program (AIP) – Aviation Trust Fund monies provide grant-in-aid funding for planning, land acquisition, and capital improvement projects at Airports included in the National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems (NPIAS). State Airport Funds may be used to support local shares of AIP funded projects.
Essential Air Service (EAS) – Aviation Trust Fund monies support scheduled airline flights to small communities that otherwise may not have access to the air transportation system. Airline service in MnDOT District 2 is supported under the current program at Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport (BRD).

MnDOT’s Regulatory Role

  • Airport Licenses Airport licenses are issued to airports, heliports and seaplane bases. Each type of airport license has different requirements.
  • Commercial Operator License This license is required for any business providing aviation services, such as: aerial photography, flight school, aircraft rental, aerial spraying, and aircraft maintenance.
  • Airport Inspections  MnDOT has been delegated authority by the FAA to collect and forward information on Minnesota airports, including verification of certain minimum safety requirements.
  • Land Use Zoning MnDOT provides technical assistance on land use safety zones and other Airport Zoning Standards, including standards to prevent incompatible or hazardous land uses to the operational safety of aircraft using the airport, and protect the safety and property of people on the ground in the area near the airport.
  • Aviation Tax Collection MnDOT collects aviation taxes to support the State Airports Fund. Sources include: aircraft registration, aviation fuel taxes, airline flight property tax, aircraft sales tax, and other fees (inspection, licensing, etc.).
  • Aircraft registration, including unmanned aircraft systems or drones must be registered with MnDOT and pay an annual registration fee as required by the FAA.


Cassandra Isackson
Office of Aeronautics
222 East Plato Boulevard
St. Paul, MN 55107-1618

Kathy Vesely
Assistant Director
Office of Aeronautics
222 East Plato Boulevard
St. Paul, MN 55107-1618

MnDOT – Aeronautics and Aviation