Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

Project development

Engineering process | Scoping

Airports and Aviation Coordination


The purpose of airspace and land use coordination is to ensure that air and surface transportation facilities can operate without conflict. Potential conflicts include the placement of height hazards, such as signage, lighting, and landscaping within an airport influence area, as well as electronic interferences.

When to use this subject

If the project is located within the airport influence area of a public airport, which extends 10,000 feet in any direction from an airport runway, contact the Office of Aeronautics. Maps showing the airport influence areas for all Minnesota public airports are available at Airport Influence Area Maps.

Coordination of roadway and right-of way is necessary when constructing projects within an airport influence area to prevent height hazards in the path of approaching and departing aircraft. Airports have a variety of visual and instrument approach and departure procedures that are dependent on runway and aircraft type. Flight approaches and departures require that airspace around the airport be free of any height hazards such as roadway signage, lighting, and landscaping, which includes trees, living fencing, and other natural barriers.

Metallic materials in fencing, tension barriers, or roadway structures may present a potential conflict for airport operations by creating electronic interferences with airport and aircraft radar, navigation, and communication systems.

Minnesota statutes and rules restrict the amount and type of development off a runway end but allow roadways at a distance that does not impact airport operations. New or realigned roadways should be placed outside of the MnDOT clear zone, located at the ends of runways. The clear zone should be clear of any infrastructure or land use development.

How this subject fits into the overall project development process

All construction projects must be compatible with public airport operations. Research the possibility of any airports in your project area during the scoping phase and contact the Office of Aeronautics for further guidance. Include a map, mile marker and/or coordinates, as well as structure and construction equipment heights as part of the information in the Early Notification Memo (ENM) or Categorical Exclusion (CATEX) documentation.

Organizations involved

  • MnDOT:
  • Cities or counties are involved in the municipal approval of the project layout.  They provide input and review the plan throughout the process.