Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

Aeronautics and Aviation

Planning and Zoning Frequently Asked Questions

Aerial Photo of an Airport

Planning and Zoning Frequently Asked Questions

Zoning FAQs

Question: During our re-zoning process WHEN should we contact MnDOT Office of Aeronautics?
Answer: Early and Often. Please call or email any of the Contacts on the Zoning Staff page.

Question: How does the "MnDOT Clear Area" relate to Zoning?
Answer: Although similar in shape (trapezoidal), the "MnDOT Clear Area" is not of Land Use Safety Zones A or B. The "MnDOT Clear Area" is described by Policy Statement No. 1 Clear Area Requirements, a document that outlines which parcels of land are encouraged by the Office of Aeronautics to be purchased (with State Grant assistance) in fee title by the airport owner.

Question: What is the difference between Land Use Zones and Airspace Zones?
Answer: Land Use Zones protect the safety and property of people on the ground. The open space they provide gives a pilot alternatives for landing in an emergency situation, much like the shoulder of a roadway can be used by a car with mechanical trouble. Airspace Zones provide a "stadium" of air around the runway surface in which the pilot operates the airplane during the normal approach and landing pattern.

Question: Does application of an Airport Zone over real property mean the property owner is entitled to compensation?
Answer: Not necessarily, takings law considers the value of the property as a whole, not just the portion which is restricted by the new zoning. If a reasonable use of the property remains, even if it is not "the highest and best use", a case for a taking claim is unlikely to succeed.

Question: What (who) is an affiant?
Answer: In Law, one who makes an affidavit.

Recommended Reading

Takings Law in Plain English by Christopher J. Duerksen & Richard J. Roddewig