Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

Aeronautics and Aviation

Aeronautics Services

  • 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
  • Provides radio and visual navigational aids
  • Provides electrical and lighting systems
  • Collects and disseminates weather information for pilots
  • Disseminates aviation education and safety information
  • Conducts several programs to promote aviation
  • Furnishes air transportation service for state officials and employees performing official business


Ryan Gaug

Assistant directors

Kirby Becker

Michael Hartell


Air Transportation 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.


Jeff Flynn
Chief Pilot

Aircraft Registration 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.


Julie Carr

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.


Arika Johnson
Airport Development Supervisor

Matt Lebens
North Region

Dan Boerner
Central Region

Luke Bourassa
South Region

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.


Tim Jarvis

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
  • aviation outreach and education

Rylan Juran

The functions of Navigation Systems 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.


Casey Carlson