Kurt Pennuto, our RAF State Laison, sent me this summary of the events at the Bowstring Airfield meeting last Wednesday. Apparently approximately 20 aircraft flew in. I think this helps demonstrate the influence we can have on issues such as this. Our challenge now is to keep on using these airfields, and not simply let the airport go unused.
This summary is from our very own Jeff Russell (the Wisconsin version)…
I flew up to Bowstring airport in northern Minnesota yesterday to support Kurt Pennuto in representing the RAF. It is really a beautiful airport in a great location. It’s in the heart of the Minnesota northwoods and lakes area that is truly a special place. Kurt did a great job identifying this strip as one with high recreational value and one that the RAF should be involved with.
The Bowstring airport was rumored to be under threat of closure. Yesterday’s meeting included Itasca county commissioners, airport commissioners, Mn-DOT, and about 45 or so interested pilots and citizens.
The meeting went very well. The county commissioner opened the meeting saying that they were really not considering closure but that there were issues that need to be addressed. The county’s biggest issued appeared to be related to their airport ownership and the perception that this ownership was exposing them to liability. At the root of the matter was that they had airport inspection from MN-DOT two years earlier wherein Mn-DOT noted 17 obstructions at the airport (trees) that needed to be removed. There was typical poor communication between the airport commission and the county commissioners. Upon belatedly learning of the non-conformance of the airport, the county (especially the county attorney) appeared to have gotten a bit agitated.
The county commissioners were actually quite surprised by the turnout to the meeting. They specifically noted the RAF’s attendance and appreciated us being there. In the end, the meeting served to re-establish communications between the county and the airport commission along with MN-DOT. The perceived threat of closure is now gone and the airport even learned of additional funding that was available from MnDOT. It appears that the future of the airport is on an even better path.
Many thanks to those of you who attended the meeting, or contacted the Commissioners. You made a difference!
Click here to see previous "President's Briefings"
Patrick Halligan, member of the MN Pilots Assn Board of Directors, has been working with Steve Johnson to establish a unified place on our website where interested people can look for aviation scholarships. Details will be announced at the 2018 GMAG. If you are aware of aviation scholarships which may benefit people in Minnesota please contact Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Congratulations to Brad Thornberg for having one of the five photos he submitted chosen to serve as our backdrop for the 2018 Great Minnesota Aviation Gathering! Thanks also to Sarah Dickerson, who developed a terrific flyer for our upcoming event!
Thanks to Gregg Strathy and Jim Peterson, board members of the MN Pilots Assn, for helping the Duluth National Weather Service design their webpage! Here is a note we received from Geoffrey Grochocinski, of the Duluth NWS…
NWS Duluth, surrounding NWS aviation focal points, and our aviation partners,
I’m happy to share NWS Duluth has a new aviation weather webpage after several months of work by our aviation team, including partnering with aviation partners for feedback, looking for ideas and inspiration from other NWS offices across the country, and building the page. This was a team effort by Justin, Bryan, and I of our aviation team. This new page will be more useful and user-friendly for our typical aviation users than our previous page. The new design is an inspiration from NWS LaCrosse’s aviation page. Our partners really liked NWS LaCrosse’s tabs and thumbnails design.
We would like to extend a special thank you to our FAA partners in Duluth and pilots with the Minnesota Pilots Association for their time in discussing our old website and the design of a future webpage with us. Thank you very much to Justin Schultz for his work into assembling potential options for the page and to Bryan in building the page.
MN Pilots Assn…making a difference in Minnesota Aviation