MAC Newsletter, September 2019

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

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

Braj Agrawal appointed to the MAC's board of commissioners


Earlier this month, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz appointed Braj Agrawal as the District B commissioner for the Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC), a district that includes the far-southwest suburbs of the Twin Cities area. Agrawal replaces Rick King, whom the governor appointed Chair of the commission in July.

Agrawal works as a portfolio manager and managing trader for Columbia Threadneedle Investments. He has also served on the City of Eden Prairie’s Flying Cloud Airport Advisory Commission for the past two years, representing the community on issues related to the MAC’s Flying Cloud Airport.

Agrawal received his Masters of Business Administration degree from the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Business and his B.A. from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

About the MAC board

Thirteen of the MAC’s 15 board members are appointed by the Governor, which includes the Chair. Nine commissioners represent districts within the metropolitan area, while four represent out-state Minnesota. Governor-appointed members serve staggered four-year terms that typically begin in January, unless a member is appointed to fill a seat mid-term, in which case they complete the outgoing member’s initial term.

The mayors of both Minneapolis and Saint Paul also each appoint a representative to the board, who serve at the pleasure of the mayor and/or until the mayor’s term is up. 

Plane-pulling athletes bring in big donations for Special Olympics

plane pull 3

Officer Eric Hoaglan of the Airport Police Department hands out medals at the Plane Pull.

The annual Plane Pull benefitting Special Olympics Minnesota drew a large crowd again this year, as more than 30 teams and their fans gathered on the west side of the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport’s airfield on Saturday, Sept. 7.

The winning teams in various divisions won bragging rights for the next year, and - more importantly - raised a grand total of $61,851 for Special Olympics Minnesota.

Although clouds threatened, the rain held off as participants and volunteers enjoyed an exciting day of competition. The money raised from the event will help the statewide Special Olympics organization provide athletic, health and leadership programs for 8,200 athletes.

Each eight-member team pulled a Delta jet 25 feet across the tarmac. Here are the winners in each division from this year’s Plane Pull:

Airport Division: Service Tec, 12.62 seconds

Gym/Fitness Division: Team Cybertron, 10.32 seconds

Public Safety Division: MAC Fire, 11.25 seconds

Corporate Division: TKDA, 10.41 seconds

Nonprofit Division: Crowning Achievement, 11.99 seconds

Unified Division: Team Cybertron B, 11.71 seconds

girls in aviation 2019

Girls in Aviation Day draws a crowd to Flying Cloud Airport

Hundreds of girls (and their parents and brothers) got a close-up view Saturday, Sept. 21, of what it might be like to work in the aviation field.

More than 2,400 people pre-registered for Girls in Aviation Day, which is held annually at the Metropolitan Airports Commission's (MAC) Flying Cloud Airport in Eden Prairie. The annual event is sponsored by the Stars of the North Chapter of Women in Aviation International (WAI), whose goal it is to encourage more girls to pursue careers in aviation, science, technology, engineering and math.

This year the MAC exhibits attracted a line of people throughout the event, held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

The exhibits included a 20-foot by 5-foot snowplow – with an airport scene stenciled on the front of the plow – that kids could fill in by following the paint-by-number scheme. There was also a “prize wheel” where children could win prizes by answering aviation-related questions such as, “What is the MAC’s busiest Reliever Airport?” (Answer: Flying Cloud.)

“This event is a great opportunity to showcase the variety of jobs women at the MAC hold and encourage girls and young women to consider aviation as a career,” said Dana Nelson, director of Stakeholder Engagement for the MAC.

Girls in Aviation Day at Flying Cloud is among the most well-attended of the 101 similar events held worldwide each year by WAI. Although the event is geared for girls ages 8 to 17, all are welcome.     

"Experience MSP" event coming to the Mall of America

exp msp

The public is invited to "EXPERIENCE MSP" on October 2 at the Mall of America.

In addition to an introduction to the long-term planning process for Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP), you’ll have opportunities to learn about MSP’s history, experience a “Taste of MSP" featuring a brand new airport restaurant, and join in on kids’ aviation-themed activities.

A formal presentation about the planning process will be offered at 5:30 p.m.

When and where:

October 2, 2019
4-8 p.m. 
Mall of America Executive Center
410 Broadway
Bloomington, MN 55425
Download the event flyer here.

To get to the Mall of America Executive Center, follow these directions:

  • Enter EAST PARKING RAMP, accessible from 24th Avenue South.
  • Park on the 5th level, P5 New York.
  • Go up the half flight of stairs, walk through the skyway and enter into the mall. Proceed straight, toward the elevators, then turn right down the hall.
  • At the end of the hall you see well-lit wooden doors for the Mall of America Executive Center.
  • There will be people along the way to help as well.

This is the first of four public events that will be held to share news about the plan and gather input. Each event will offer new exhibits covering a wide range of aviation topics.


Replica of MSP Airport cements a life-long friendship

It’s not often that two friends build a shrine to one of their favorite childhood memories. But that’s exactly what Ben Graden and Cyrus Cambata did in constructing a scale model of Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) in Ben’s basement over the past three years.

As kids in the same Cub Scout troop and elementary school class in Shoreview, Minn., they were regular visitors to MSP and its aircraft viewing area on Post Road. They even hosted a birthday party or two at MSP before the 9/11 terrorist attacks led to tightened security.

Their early passion for aviation – an early joint school project outlined their plan to start an airline (CB Airways, formed with the first letters of their names) – led to careers in aviation. Ben, 34, is an air traffic controller at Flying Cloud Airport in Eden Prairie and Cyrus, 35, is an Airbus A320 captain with Allegiant Airlines based out of Asheville, N.C.

They stayed in touch over the years and knew they wanted to do something “cool” together again. On New Year’s Eve 2016, they hatched a plan to build a model of MSP as it existed during their youth in 2003-2004.

“We really had no idea what or how big or how much of the airport it was going to encompass but we just kind of went with it,” said Ben.

Click here to learn how it all came together.

Quick Links

Board Meetings
Business Opportunities
Career Opportunities
General Aviation Airport Information
InterContinental Hotel
MSP Aircraft Noise Information
MSP Airport