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Articles written by Cassandra Isackson


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  • From the Director's Desk

    Cassandra Isackson, Director, MnDOT Aeronautics|Jun 1, 2020

    Do you ever think about the people that work in aviation? I don’t mean the people that use aviation, I mean the people that are in aviation, making the system work. At MnDOT Aeronautics, I’ve often heard our pilots marvel at what they didn’t know, they didn’t know. Until they began working with us, they had not spent much time thinking about all that must be done, who must do it, to make flying, landing and taking off, possible. Someone is plowing the runway. Someone is mowing the grass....

  • Directors Column

    Cassandra Isackson, Director MnDOT Aeronautics|Dec 1, 2019

    As I reflect on my visits to International Falls, one constant comes to mind; a warm welcome, a smile, a hug, from Mayor and Airport Commission Chair Bob Anderson. Sadly, a visit to I-Falls will no longer begin with that smile from Bob, as he passed unexpectedly on Friday, Sept. 20, 2019. Bob was a true statesman with over 50 years of public service to his community, the state and the nation, in a variety of roles representing his many interests and his deep love of the place he called home....

  • From the Director's Desk

    Cassandra Isackson, Director, Office of Aeronautics|Mar 1, 2019

    Spring is in sight and we have been working hard to prepare to participate in a number of outstanding aviation events for the spring-summer season. Here are a couple terrific events that I want to remind you of and let you know your Office of Aeronautics will be there and we hope to meet many of you at these events: MN Airports Conference On April 24-26, at the Willmar Conference Center, 240 23rd Street SE Willmar, Minnesota; you will have an opportunity to hear industry and government...

  • From the Director's Desk

    Cassandra Isackson, Director, MnDOT Aeronautics|Dec 1, 2018

    In my last column, I addressed Grant Assurances, what they are, what they do, and why we need them. This time I want to address Minimum Standards. While the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) does not require minimum standards, they are directly tied to grant assurances. Airport minimum standards must be met by all commercial service operators on an airport. This helps to ensure that FAA rules and regulations are met, while also ensuring safe operations, and providing opportunities for...

  • From the Director's Desk

    Cassandra Isackson, Director, Office of Aeronautics|Sep 1, 2018

    The value of an airport is appreciated by and impacted by its users, whether transient or based at the airport. Proper use and good planning can attract new users, new tenants, and inspire airport growth. In fact, your airport is, or can be a significant economic engine for your community. One way that you can help your airport stay viable and continue to attract new users and new tenants is by understanding what Grant Assurances mean to your airport and to its plans for the future. Read the...

  • From the Director's Desk

    Cassandra Isackson, Director, MnDOT Aeronautics|Jun 1, 2018

    As you have read in recent Aeronautics Technical Bulletins, we in the Office of Aeronautics, are celebrating 75 years of partnerships with Minnesota's fabulous publicly owned and operated airports. In addition to that celebration, we are also thrilled to be celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Minnesota Aviation Maintenance Technicians Conference. This spring, we had another very exciting and successful Conference. Nearly 400 people attended the event on March 19-20, 2018 at the Earle Brown...

  • Recognizing 75 years of great state/airport partnerships in 2018

    Cassandra Isackson, Director, MnDOT Aeronautics|Mar 1, 2018

    We are happy to share the fact that 2018 marked the beginning of our 75th year of partnerships with Minnesota's great publicly owned airports! We have 135 quality, public use airports and 15 public seaplane bases that serve the Minnesota aviation community and their local communities in a very positive way. Through this partnership with the airports we work together to help assure we have a group of safe and well-maintained airports. This happens by meeting with airport boards, commissions,...

  • From the Director's Desk

    Cassandra Isackson, MnDOT Aeronautics|Dec 1, 2017

    Have you ever attended a "needs meeting" for your airport? Nearly two thirds of Minnesota's publicly owned airports have completed their needs meetings for this first cycle. What is a Needs Meeting you might ask? Well, many people know what a Capital Improvement Program (CIP) is, but in case you aren't sure, a CIP is used to plan and program the projects that will preserve and develop Minnesota's system of publicly-owned airports. Airport Needs Meetings are a larger, more detailed conversation...

  • From The Director's Desk

    Cassandra Isackson, Director Office of Aeronautics|Sep 1, 2017

    Your office of Aeronautics is a strong supporter of four specific disciplines — science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in our schools. These areas of study and mastery are vitally important to the aviation industry and its future. That is why it is so important that we help our schools with guiding our youth toward involvement in STEM programs. No doubt you have heard about the pilot shortage in the US and in fact, globally. But did you know there is also a forecasted s...

  • From the Director's Desk

    Cassandra Isackson, Director Office of Aeronautics|Jun 1, 2017

    Are you my customer? Do you know the products MnDOT Aeronautics provides? If you fly, and/or land in Minnesota, you are using some of our products for sure. MnDOT as a whole is working "to earn trust and increase transparency through a customer-centered organization in which we engage customers, listen to understand, and balance the diverse needs of all to achieve the best possible outcomes". At Aeronautics, we're learning the Customer Centered Culture (C3) principals and applying them to our...

  • From the Director's Desk

    Cassandra Isackson, Director Office of Aeronautics|Mar 1, 2017

    Spring arrived early this year with many events attracting attention. As aviators, we flock to airshows, fly-ins, and pancake breakfasts to enjoy bright, blue spring and summer skies with friends and family. I'll be at many aviation events and programs around the state this year, too, along with other Aeronautics staff. Feel free to invite us to any event you'd like us to attend at your airport. We'll do our best to be there. We look forward to meeting you face to face to hear your questions,...

  • From the Director's Desk

    Cassandra Isackson Director Office of Aeronautics|Dec 1, 2016

    This has been a very busy year for us and 2017 looks even busier. We had a great experience at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016 where we shared an exhibit with volunteers from Minnesota airport communities. Together we spoke to hundreds of folks to encourage flying in Minnesota, either as a destination, or on the way home. It was exciting! We'll continue to ask for your advice and involvement on ways to add energy to our outreach on behalf of Minnesota's excellent airport system. We're also evaluating other aviation education, promotion, communicati...

  • From the Director's Desk

    Cassandra Isackson|Sep 1, 2016

    We are fortunate to have many long sunny days throughout the spring-summer-early fall seasons. That abundance of sunshine can turn thoughts to using that solar power at Minnesota’s airports. While that might be advantageous in the not too-distant future, there is much that needs to be considered and planned for, well before the commitment to solar is made. Solar power systems are rapidly growing in many areas and industries of our nation and the world. Airports across the US are beginning to bui...

  • From the Director's Desk

    Cassandra Isackson|Jun 1, 2016

    Summers in Minnesota are spectacular! It is a great time for flying as the days are long and sunshine abounds. With that in mind I want to let you know we can help your community planner and/or zoning administrator with technical glare analysis of solar power installations that may be proposed at or near your airport. Many communities are looking for new ways to be more energy self-reliant, and solar power is an often considered alternative. Before putting solar panels in place there are a...

  • MnDOT Aeronautics Bulletin

    Cassandra Isackson|Dec 1, 2015

    Education at its most basic level is the key to the success of any individual. What ultimately sets us apart from others is our use of what we have learned, and our unending desire to continue learning. One part of MnDOT Aeronautics’ mission is aviation education. We are charged with helping to educate the people of Minnesota about aviation and the positive impact it has upon everyone’s life. We do that through our Technical Bulletins, our Internet Web pages, and even our Facebook and Twi...

  • From the Director's Desk

    Cassandra Isackson, MnDOT Aeronautics|Sep 1, 2015

    It seems “drones” are everywhere these days! Many of you know someone who has one, or have heard of an interesting way in which an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) is planning to be used. There were certainly plenty of different types for sale at Oshkosh this year. Where, How, and When the UAV (commonly referred to as a drone) is used, and the regulations that may be required as a result of that use are a current topic at FAA and at MnDOT Aeronautics. Our focus is safety in all aeronautical act...

  • From the Director's Desk

    Cassandra Isackson, MnDOT Aeronautics|Jun 1, 2015

    port’s Capital Improvement Program (CIP) is and what it does for your airport, your community, and you? Although our construction season is well underway, planning for those projects began years ago as a CIP line item. A CIP is used to plan and program the projects that will preserve and develop Minnesota’s system of publicly-owned airports. Our system includes 135 publicly-funded airports around the State, 97 of which are eligible for Federal funding. Each airport’s CIP should summarize the N...

  • From the Director's Desk

    Cassandra Isackson, MnDOT Aeronautics|Mar 1, 2015

    You, as an aviator, aviation administrator or manager, or an aviation supporter need to know how your aviation tax dollars are put to work for you in Minnesota. You also need to care about and understand how the Airport Improvement Program (AIP) impacts aviation throughout Minnesota. These things are vitally important to aviation across the State and the Nation. First, there are three main sources of state aeronautics funding. Each source is a tax on aviation-related activities. The dollars...

  • As the holidays arrive

    Cassandra Isackson, Director, Office of Aeronautics|Dec 1, 2014

    As the holiday season arrives, many people will take vacation to spend time with family and friends. It is our hope that you will have a wonderful and safe time and will take advantage of the opportunity to share your passion for aviation with those around you. In our technical bulletin you will find several very important articles that I hope you will spend time reading and absorbing. Safety is our number one concern for everyone, here at MnDOT. SO we ask you to take time and consider your safe...