MAC Newsletter, May 2017

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Welcome to the Metropolitan Airports Commission's e-newsletter.

New skyway's structural steel is an overnight success

A new time-lapse video captures the placement of the structural steel erected recently at Terminal 1-Lindbergh for the first portion of the new InterContinental Hotel skyway.

The InterContinental is set to open in the summer of 2018. The hotel will have its own TSA security checkpoint to provide guests easy access to flights.

Construction crews putting up the steel worked overnight to minimize the impact to traffic coming into Terminal 1-Lindbergh, as cars were detoured around that stretch of the inbound roadway.

A second portion of the steel for the skyway was put in place last weekend, with more overnight work and a less circuitous detour for the outbound traffic.

Click the image to see a time-lapse video of the skyway steel's placement.

The hotel construction is well underway, easily visible along the inbound roadway. Also, crews have begun remodeling work on Concourse A, where the skyway will join the airport on the second level.

MSP employees of the year announced

The recent winners of the MSP Airport Employee of the Year Awards represent the best in customer service at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, and their work is an example of going above and beyond to help others.

The awards, now in their 13th year, are given annually to three MSP employees nominated by their peers.

The awards are a partnership of the MSP Customer Service Action Council (CSAC) and the Airport Foundation MSP.

The winners for 2017:

• Mari Askerooth is a police officer with the Metropolitan Airports Commission, who teaches the airport community about human trafficking and suspicious behavior awareness. She also created the “Winter Coat Closet” at MSP, where unclaimed coats, boots and other winter items are given to those in need as they pass through the airport.

She also created “Children’s Packages,” which are handed out to young travelers, helping police have positive contact with youths. Each bag contains coloring books, crayons, stickers, apple juice and other goodies for kids. 

Last November, she helped a family of five that was stranded at MSP when their ride didn't show up. She and her coworkers raised enough money for bus fare, a taxi to the bus station and food for the trip.

2017 MSP Employee of the Year award winners: (Left to right), Dereje Demeke of ABM, Patrick Sullivan of Delta Air Lines and Mari Askerooth of the Airport Police Department.


• Dereje Demeke is a cleaner with ABM. He is known for his happy demeanor, smile and kind words. He works all over the airport and when passengers stop to ask him questions, he goes out of his way to assist them.

Demeke was nominated by three Southwest Airlines employees, who regularly see him clean the floor in front of the Southwest ticket counter. He will drop whatever he is doing to assist passengers who need help.

He's been seen jumping off his floor cleaner to help a family struggling with their luggage or needing directions.

• Patrick Sullivan is a below-wing lead aircraft loading agent with Delta Air Lines. In addition to his work on the airport ramp, he has taken on several other roles over the years.

Those include chairman of the MSP Airport Customer Service Blood Drive, team captain of the Special Olympics Polar Plunge, chairperson of the Below-wing Employee Fundraiser Team, work as a staffing dispatcher and a mentor to new hires.

Sullivan was nominated by three fellow Delta employees. They described him as the most generous and selfless coworker on the planet.

He’s known for his passion for creating a safe and enjoyable work environment for his fellow employees, and always making sure the customers' experience is positive and memorable.

Jana Webster, the executive director of the Airport Foundation MSP, presented the awards at a recent meeting of the Metropolitan Airports Commission.

Each winner receives a trophy, a certificate and a check for $1,000 from the Airport Foundation MSP. The winners’ images are displayed throughout the airport, and they are invited to serve on the selection committee for next year’s winners.

MAC's reliever airports attract more training flights


Flight training activity at the Metropolitan Airports Commission’s (MAC) reliever airports has been moving steadily upward since 2012.

That activity and other trends in general aviation flights show that the six reliever airports remain a vital part of the Twin Cities-area air transportation system and economy.

Landing fees are also up at the reliever airports and investment by tenants is rising as well, a committee of the MAC’s board of commissioners heard at a recent meeting.

Gross sales related to flight training have almost doubled since 2012, Kelly Gerads, the assistant director of the reliever airports, told the MAC commissioners.

As the economy continues to improve and word of the ongoing airline pilot shortage gets out, more people are pursuing flight training, said Gary Schmidt, director of the MAC’s reliever airports department.

“The reliever airports continue to provide a crucial service for the Twin Cities’ aviation and business community,” Schmidt said. “Support for our airports is strong and our tenants are upgrading their facilities.”



The six reliever airports include Airlake in Lakeville, Anoka County-Blaine, Crystal, Flying Cloud in Eden Prairie, Lake Elmo, and St. Paul Downtown Airport.

Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) also is a draw for general aviation traffic and serves as a home base for corporate aircraft.

The reliever airports continue to reduce the demand by general aviation flights at MSP, but both systems are growing, Gerads said. Private aircraft are drawn to MSP for convenient connections to commercial flights, and in limited cases may end up at MSP during inclement weather.

Tenants who keep aircraft at the reliever airports are investing in hangar facilities, with investments in the last six years totaling close to $13 million. “These are phenomenal numbers that our tenants are investing in our system,” Gerads said.

Premier Jet Center named Cirrus Service Center


The Premier Jet Center at Flying Cloud Airport in Eden Prairie has been designated as an authorized service center by Cirrus Aircraft Corp.

Cirrus Aircraft, headquartered in Duluth, Minn., is a leading general aviation company that designs and manufactures an all-composite line of personal aircraft.

“The designation from Cirrus expands our service offerings and gives the local and regionally-based owners and operators access to quality authorized services,” said Jim Sweeney, president of Premier Jet Center.

Premier Jet is a subsidiary of Fargo Jet Center, headquartered in Fargo, N.D.

Premier Jet also serves as the base for the company’s aircraft sales division.

Cirrus aircraft, which are made in the United States, also feature an Airframe Parachute System as standard equipment, which can be deployed to float the entire aircraft to safety.

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