Minnesota Department of Transportation

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Aeronautics and Aviation

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State Aviation System Plan

SASP logo

Gov. Tim Walz officially approved the Minnesota State Aviation System Plan (MnSASP) in September 2023. The MnSASP is our long-term strategic plan, designed to provide a description and assessment of the airport system’s current performance, as well as guidance for future development.

The MnSASP is part of MnDOT’s Family of Plans, which stem from the Minnesota GO 50-year Vision. The vision outlines what Minnesotans desire from the state’s transportation system and identifies key guiding principles we strive to achieve.


As part of the system planning effort, the MnSASP developed the MnSASP Hub as an interactive web application to maintain and report all data collected during the plan to support various MnDOT Aeronautics’ functions. The data presented in the MnSASP Hub include all performance measures and indicators defined in the 2022 MnSASP (refer to Chapter 2 for more information), economic impact, FAA-filed flight plans, NAVAIDs and weather stations, airfield pavement condition, and airport safety areas (MnDOT clear zones, FAA Part 77 surfaces, runway protection zones [RPZs]). All the tabular and spatial data summarized above are organized and presented in the MnSASP Hub in a combination of interactive Dashboards and mapping applications.

Planning process

The MnSASP update process began in 2017.

  • Phase I: Established the MnSASP framework, aligning it with the Minnesota GO 50-year vision for Minnesota’s transportation network. The framework is published as whitepapers linked below. Phase I also evaluated trends impacting the Minnesota airport system and published these findings as trend papers linked below.
  • Phase II: Validated the MnSASP framework and conducted a series of evaluations used to develop forward-looking recommendations for MnDOT Aeronautics.
  • Public input: Both Phase I and Phase II relied on continuous public input to ensure alignment with the needs of all Minnesota aviation stakeholders. The final public comment period of the draft MnSASP is June 12–July 12, 2023.
  • Moving forward: The MnSASP collected a wide range of airport data to complete the performance assessment and inform recommendations. As a result, the MnSASP Hub was created and serves as a central data and reporting tool. This allows MnDOT and aviation stakeholders to engage in continuous system and airport planning.

Phase 1 built the framework for a continuous SASP which strives to keep data current to better track performance metrics and share progress towards those metrics with aviation stakeholders. Phase 1 included an extensive Public Involvement Plan and tasks that resulted in a number of recommendations to carry into the Phase II effort. 

Trend Papers White Papers Phase 2 Parking Lot

Alternative Fuels and Electrification
Commercial Service
Fleet Changes
Navigation Technologies
Pilot and Workforce
Project Funding
Transportation Behavior

Unmanned Aircraft Systems

Assessment of Prior Efforts
Objectives and Strategies
System Metrics

Airport Metrics

Phase 1 Final Meeting
Draft Public Involvement Plan

The Statewide Airport Economic Impact Study was an ancillary study developed out of Phase I. The study analyzed the annual economic impacts generated by 126 of Minnesota’s 133 public airports. The data from the study was used to develop an economic impact calculator to estimate how airport businesses and projects benefit the local economy.

Phase 2 of the MnSASP involved validating the deliverables from Phase 1, analyzing policy issues facing the state aviation system, acquiring and managing data to develop a MnSASP database and display dashboard, publishing the SASP, and developing a continuous implementation plan.

Elements of Phase 2 Policy Issues Display Dashboard
  1. Validating Recommendations and Deliverables from Phase I
  2. Policy Issues to Analyze
  3. Validate and Modify Phase I Data Acquisition Plan
  4. Acquire data
  5. Develop Data Management Plan
  6. Database System and Display Dashboard
  7. Public Involvement
  8. Publish document
  9. Develop implementation plan
  • Operations Counting and Forecasting
  • Residential Through the Fence
  • Hangar Availability and Funding Participation
  • Airport Closures
  • Crosswind Runway Analysis
  • Clear Zone Policy and Ownership Analysis
  • Airport Zoning Analysis and Prioritization
  • Drones
  • Last Mile Connection Opportunity (Courtesy Car Analysis)


In development