MAC Newsletter, May 2019

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page. Bookmark and Share

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

MAC begins work on Long-Term Plan for 2040 at MSP Airport


This spring staff from the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) started looking toward the future and have begun work on the long term planning process for the airport.

The process includes studying airport facility and infrastructure needs based on 20-year projections of passenger and aircraft operations growth. The MSP Airport 2040 Long-term plan will ultimately help the Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) -- which owns and operates MSP -- better understand future facility needs.

The planning process will fulfill a state requirement for the airport and is a significant undertaking for MAC staff. In addition to research and statistical modeling, the MAC has also begun engaging key stakeholders to ensure it receives meaningful feedback and ideas throughout the process.

To help accomplish this, the MAC has created a 29-member Stakeholder Advisory Panel, comprised of individuals representing surrounding communities, airport tenants, federal agencies, specific passenger groups, regional businesses, and tourism associations, who will provide that input. The panel’s first meeting will occur in June.

A long-term plan does not authorize facility improvements or construction activity, nor does it determine eligibility for aircraft noise mitigation programs. Rather, it is a tool to help guide development when it is needed.

Creating a long-term plan is important not only to travelers who rely on the MAC to provide an efficient and enjoyable experience, but also also to the entire region, as MSP supports more than 89,000 area jobs and generates nearly $16 billion in total economic output.

The airport also helps Minnesota retain businesses - including the 17 Fortune 500 companies in the Twin Cities area - who rely on the airport to move both goods and people to places around the globe.

Individuals interested in receiving updates to the planning process - including when public meetings are scheduled - should visit this website and sign up to receive e-news specific to this topic. 

Signature at St. Paul Airport Downtown named best FBO in U.S.

If Signature Flight Support’s quality service at the St. Paul Airport Downtown wasn’t widely known already, the word leaked out in a big way recently in Professional Pilot magazine.

The magazine’s annual PRASE survey of readers recently named Signature’s location in St. Paul as the best fixed-base operator in the United States, moving it up from its 10th-place finish last year.

Signature, which offers a wide range of flight-related services to private aircraft, has 26 employees in St. Paul and Jim Pederson  – the manager there – says coming out on top is all about the employees.


“It’s about developing a culture of people caring for each other,” Pederson said. “Our fundamental belief is that if you’re in the service industry, if you don’t have happy employees, how are they going to be able to create an environment that makes our customers happy and satisfied.”

Pictured: Jim Pederson

Signature’s reputation for excellence in the Twin Cities didn’t start recently.

Beyond the 10th-place finish last year, Professional Pilot’s 2019 survey also named Sandy Tachovsky – currently the St. Paul site’s duty manager -- as the best customer service representative in the country. She's earned that honor before, as well. 

“They have a very customer-service oriented culture at that location,” said Joe Harris, the manager of the St. Paul Airport Downtown. “Everybody over there is pulling in the same direction.”

Signature St. Paul

Harris attributes Signature’s recent accolades to the staff’s attention to detail. Quick bag handling, lining up rides for customers, umbrellas for customers – no detail is over-looked. Signature staff will ring Harris about a streetlight that’s out on airport roadways, or a pothole that’s forming.

“The staff has their eye on the entire customer experience,” Harris said.

And St. Paul is not alone. The winning has been contagious for Signature’s Twin Cities’ operations.

St. Paul’s top spot follows a first-place finish in the Professional Pilot survey last year by Signature’s base at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP).

This year, the team led by Kyle Schmaltz -- the general manager at the MSP location -- wasn’t far behind, finishing fifth in the poll of readers. Pat Walter, a line tech for Signature at MSP, also took the top national spot for that position.

The Professional Pilot survey results come from forms sent in by subscribers of the publication. Each survey participant was only allowed to submit one survey, and submissions were checked for compliance. Members of organizations that compete in a category with other FBOs were not allowed to submit ballots.

The magazine received 1,260 survey forms and 1,086 of those met Professional Pilot’s acceptance criteria.

Pederson also attributes St. Paul’s success to the strong working relationship with the Metropolitan Airports Commission and the management at the St. Paul airport. That was evident this past winter, he said, when the maintenance crews at St. Paul worked long hours to keep the airfield clear of snow through a brutal February.

“The whole working environment is what gets us this sort of recognition,” Pederson said.

Summer will heat up at MAC Reliever Airports with public events

Educating young people about careers in aviation and engaging with local communities ­– fueled by steaming stacks of pancakes – are the common themes of a series of upcoming events at the MAC's six Reliever Airports this summer and fall.

"We will begin our event year with education and we will end our event year with education," said Kelly Gerads, assistant director of the MAC's Reliever Airports. "In between, we'll have stacks of pancakes at some very fun airport community events."

The season begins June 9 at the St. Paul Airport Downtown with the first of three, week-long Aeronautics ACE Camp sessions designed to showcase aviation careers for 10th, 11th and 12th grade students. Additional sessions will begin June 23 and July 14.

In the past, just two sessions were held. But interest was so high that a third session was added. Between 35 and 40 students typically attend each session.

reliever event

The Reliever Airport event season will conclude Sept. 21 at Flying Cloud Airport with a similar event – but targeted for girls ages 8 to 17. "Girls in Aviation Day," where career aviation employees work with girls one-on-one, typically draws more than 2,000 participants each year.

The following is a list of the upcoming events at the MAC's Reliever Airports:

Minnesota Aviation ACE Camp

St. Paul Airport Downtown, June 9 & 23; July 14

Sponsors: FAA and MnDOT

Description: These week-long camps are designed for 10th, 11th and 12th grade students who are interested in aviation careers. Each session has about 35 to 40 students. The cost is $650 for Minnesota residents and $850 for non-Minnesota residents. (Financial aid is available.)

Father's Day Open House

Crystal Airport, June 16

Sponsors: Air Traffic Control Tower, City of Crystal, FAA, Lion's Club, MAC and the VFW

Description: There will be several vendors and concessions at this event. And yes, pancakes will be served. Attendees can also purchase airplane rides.

July 4th Celebration

St. Paul Airport Downtown, July 5-7

Sponsor: EAA Chapter 237

Description: B-17 rides and ground tours will be available. B-17 and B25 seminars will be offered by the EAA’s Chris Henry. Warbirds and general aviation aircraft will be on site, as will pedal planes, displays, vendors and food.
For more information on the B-17 visit this website.

Air Expo

Flying Cloud Airport, July 13-14 (9a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday; 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday)

Sponsors: Wings of the North, FAA and MAC

Description: This is one of the biggest events at the MAC's Reliever Airports – between 5,000 and 7,000 people attend each year. Several iconic aircraft will be on hand – "a visual feast of technology innovation," according to Wings of the North. The cost is $20 for adults (which includes one child admission 17 and under for every paid adult) and $5 for children 8 to 17 years old.  (For a limited time, ticket prices are cut in half.)

Pan-O-Prog Fly-in

Airlake Airport,  July 14 (8 a.m. to noon)

Sponsors: Lakeville Lions Club

Description: This event is held alongside the city of Lakeville's annual community celebration. This fly-in breakfast – which includes pancakes – attracts flyers from throughout Minnesota. The cost is $10 for adults and $5 for kids 12 and under.

Aviation Day

Lake Elmo Airport, August 11

Sponsors: Experimental Aircraft Association, Chapter 54

Description: This yearly pancake breakfast is designed to raise money for the airport's education programs.

Girls in Aviation Day 

Flying Cloud Airport, September 21 (10 a.m. to 3 p.m.)

Sponsors: Women in Aviation, International, Stars of the North, Premier Jet Center, UTC Aerospace Systems, Endeavor Air, Sun Country Airlines, Bernatello's, the MAC, Wings Financial and Inflight Pilot Training. 

Description: This event is designed to get girls ages 8 to 17 interested in careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, Math (STEM) and aviation. Career aviation employees work with girls one-on-one; the event typically draws more than 2,000 participants each year.

"These are great opportunities for us to engage with our communities," said Gerads.

MAC videos honored in international competition

food truck

Competing against some of the biggest media and advertising companies in the world, two videos created by the Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) have won a total of four Telly awards. .

The MAC’s 4-minute “Creating Food Truck Alley at MSP Airport,” which provides a behind-the-scenes look at the three-year effort to create the unique restaurant corridor at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, won a silver award in the “branded content general–food/beverage” category and a bronze award in the “branded content – technical craft of video editing” category, joining the likes of  CBS Interactive, National Geographic and NBCUniversal–Network Partnerships as winners in these categories.

The MAC’s “MSP: Creating Momentum for Economic Growth” also received a bronze Telly in two different categories: “branded content general–government relations” and “branded content craft–motion graphics and design.”  

The one-minute animated video provides an overview of the economic contribution MSP Airport brings to the Twin Cities and surrounding region. It summarizes the results of a 2016 study that shows MSP supports 86,900 jobs, creates $2.5 billion in annual spending by visitors and generates $15.9 billion in total economic output annually.

It, too, was among elite company in these categories, other winners being Politico, Bloomberg LP and Viacom Velocity.

Telly award-winning videos come from advertising agencies, television stations, production companies and publishers from around the world. There were more than 12,000 entries from all 50 U.S. states and five continents in the competition. 

Quick Links

Board Meetings
Business Opportunities
Career Opportunities
General Aviation Airport Information

InterContinental Hotel
MSP Aircraft Noise Information
MSP Airport