MAC Newsletter, August 2019

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

Snow and cold not required to keep MAC crews busy

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Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport’s (MSP) field maintenance crew received all the glory last winter when they worked around the clock to keep the airport’s runways clear during an epic season of snow and ice.

Soon after the snow and ice disappear, however, those same maintenance workers start tackling a long list of fair-weather tasks.

“Joint sealing, concrete repairs, lawn mowing, fence repair – we do that all and more,” says Charlie Beuning, an assistant manager in the airport’s Field Maintenance division. “We’re certainly not sitting around waiting for the next snowstorm to blow in from Canada.”

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Summer work doesn’t draw as much attention, but MSP’s 2,930-acre campus includes square miles of both grass and concrete. And just like the work on Twin Cities’ highways, repairs to the paved surfaces are a summer-time priority.

“We do surface repairs of roads, taxiways and runways,” Beuning said. “In the gate areas, near the terminals, we do small concrete repairs. In fact, we do so much of that we brought in fish houses early in the season and put heaters in them so we could get it above 40 degrees for the concrete work.”

Much of the repair work along the miles of roads at MSP gets contracted out, but crews from the Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) do some of it as well.

Another reason summer work stays under-the-radar is because the heavy construction work is completed mostly at night, when there are fewer aircraft using the airfield.

Each night, crews perform cleaning work around the entire airport. Sidewalks are blown clean in front of the terminals, power washing is sometimes in the mix, and MSP’s own garbage truck collects waste from around the campus.

On the runways, crews work practically every night to remove built-up rubber left by airplane tires. Leaving it there would diminish the amount of friction needed for airplanes to land at MSP.

The maintenance crews also maintain the airport’s parking ramps, which can accommodate up to 23,650 vehicles. When the Silver Ramp opens in 2020, that total will be closer to 29,000.

For those already fretting about the return of winter, it’s still a ways off. MSP’s average low temperature doesn’t dip below 40 degrees Fahrenheit until Oct. 16. And the median date of the Twin Cities’ first one-inch snowfall is Nov. 16.

MAC honors three departing commissioners

The Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) recently honored three commissioners for their years of service on the board that oversees Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and the MAC’s six reliever airports.

Dan Boivin, first appointed to the commission by Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak in 2002, was named chair by Gov. Mark Dayton in 2011 and held that position until earlier this year -- making him one of the longest-serving board members in MAC history.

During those years, he was involved in many critical issues, including efforts to retain air service and as many jobs as possible during the bankruptcy of Northwest Airlines and the carrier’s acquisition by Delta Air Lines. He voted to approve billions of dollars in improvements to the MAC’s seven-airport system and renovation of every food and retail concession at MSP.

Boivin also actively supported attracting new airlines to MSP, with 10 of the 17 air carriers that now serve MSP launching service while he was on the commission.

Michael Madigan, who represented the east metro area on the commission, was appointed by Gov. Dayton in 2011.

Madigan was the board liaison to the taxicab advisory committee and a strong supporter of general aviation, engaging community leaders in long-term planning at Lake Elmo Airport.

Ibrahim Mohamed, the first Somali-American appointed to the commission, joined the board in 2015, appointed by Gov. Mark Dayton.

During his tenure, Mohamed was a strong advocate for workers at the airport.

A ceremony honoring all three was held at the MAC board meeting on Aug. 19.

Crystal Airport set for improvements in 2020


Improvements to Crystal Airport, located in the city of Crystal, Minn., will begin next year, including the conversion of an existing runway to a taxiway.

The improvements will help align the airfield infrastructure with existing and forecasted levels of activity at the airport.

The work will also enhance safety for airport users by simplifying the layout of runways and taxiways.

At its August meeting, the Metropolitan Airports Commission’s board approved an environmental review and determined there is not a need for a State Environmental Impact Statement for the work at Crystal Airport. The Federal Aviation Administration, the agency responsible for federal environmental reviews, had previously issued a Finding of No Significant Impact.

The board’s action follows a multi-year public process that included planning, community input and environmental work. The construction, starting next summer, will also include the lengthening of the main runway, 14L/32R, to 3,750 feet by converting existing blast pad pavement at the ends of the runway into usable runway.

The airports’ turf runway, which is the last of its kind in the Twin Cities’ metro area, will remain on the airfield, though it will be shortened. Additional information about the project and the improvements can be found here.

Crystal Airport, which opened in 1948, is one of the MAC’s six general aviation airports and is a long-time popular hub for recreational, personal, and some business flying in the northwest metro area.

MSP Airport job fair coming to downtown Minneapolis, Sept. 16


Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) is holding its next job fair on Monday, Sept. 16 at the Hennepin County Library - Minneapolis Central (pictured).

Approximately 25 companies – including the Metropolitan Airports Commission - that operate at MSP are expected to participate in the fair. A wide range of jobs are available, including in the food and beverage, retail, hotel, maintenance, airline and aviation fields. Most jobs have highly competitive wages and offer extensive benefits.

This is the second time the job fair has been held at the downtown library, where its centralized location and access to many public transit routes has proven popular.

The Central Library staff also has a team of employees and volunteers who assist patrons with job searches. That assistance covers everything from help drafting resumes and cover letters to basic computer training, and will be available to job fair attendees.

When and Where

Monday Sept. 16; 1 to 4 p.m.

Hennepin County Library - Minneapolis Central, 300 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis 55401

Fly-in event scheduled for Sept. 14 at Crystal Airport


The CrySTOL Fly In is coming next month to the Crystal Airport, featuring demonstrations of short-runway take-offs and landings on the airport's turf runway.

That runway is the only one of its kind remaining in the Twin Cities metro area. 

The public event takes place on Saturday, Sept. 14, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. The airport is located at 5800 Crystal Airport Road, just off of Bottineau Boulevard north of Bass Lake Road.

In addition to the turf runway demonstrations, aircraft will be on display, including experimental, ultralights, warbirds and more.

Food will be available too, including a pancake breakfast, burgers, brats and hot dogs. 

The event's Facebook page provides additional information.

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