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Minnesota Airports Conference

2018 Minnesota Airports Conference

April 18-20, 2018
Duluth, MN 55802

About the Event

The annual Minnesota Airports Conference features experts in aviation and aerospace fields sharing their experiences in general assembly presentations, workshops, and open forums. The conference, held in conjunction with the Minnesota Council of Airports annual meeting, also includes technical and safety presentations, an industry trade show, and an awards and recognition program.

75 years logo

The conference aims to deliver the most up-to-date and advanced information for Minnesota aviation professionals and provide an opportunity for industry and government officials to exchange ideas on funding, trends, airport management, operations, maintenance, and best practices.

The 2018 conference commemorated a significant anniversary for Minnesota, its airports, and the communities they serve. In 1943, the Minnesota Aeronautics Commission became the Minnesota Department of Aeronautics. In the same year, a constitutional amendment was proposed (and ultimately passed in 1944) that would allow the state to collect taxes and build airports.

To honor this 75th anniversary and highlight the history of aviation in Minnesota, the conference opened with a tour of the Cirrus Aviation facility. Dale Klapmeier, co-founder and CEO of Cirrus Aircraft, was also one of this year's featured speakers. In 1984, Dale, along with his brother Alan, founded Cirrus in a barn in rural Wisconsin. Since then, Cirrus has revolutionized the general aviation industry. Under Dale’s leadership, Cirrus has been the largest producer of piston aircraft since 2013. In addition to numerous aviation industry and entrepreneurial awards, Dale and Alan were formally inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame in 2014.

Another of the conference's featured speakers was Dr. Margaret Rhea Seddon. She was one of the first six women to enter the astronaut program in 1978. Seddon worked at NASA for 19 years, serving on three space shuttle flights and spending a total of 30 days in space. She is also the author of the 2015 autobiography Go for Orbit. She was inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame in 2015.

The conference is brought to you by the Minnesota Council of Airports and the Minnesota Department of Transportation and facilitated by the Airport Technical Assistance Program (AirTAP).




More Information

For more information, please contact Mindy Carlson at 612-625-1813 or

AirTAP | University of Minnesota | Minneapolis, MN 55455 | Location & Contact Information