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Minnesota Airports Conference

2019 Minnesota Airports Conference

April 24-26, 2019
Willmar Conference Center
240 23rd Street SE
Willmar, MN 56201

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.

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. Please join us at the conference for an engaging learning experience, where you'll network with peers and vendors and learn how Minnesota airports are growing one community at a time.

Program Highlights

Vikings Harrison Smith

Once again, this year's conference will feature a notable aviation-related keynote speaker: our very own Minnesota Vikings player Harrison Smith!

Throughout his college career at Notre Dame and into his early years in Minnesota, the star Vikings safety felt a gripping anxiety whenever he flew on official team charters. Smith decided there was no better way to get over his fear than to learn how to fly a plane himself, so he started ground school at Flying Cloud Airport and began the process of becoming a licensed pilot. After 65 hours in the air, he was ready for his private pilot check ride, which he passed with ease.

Smith will escort conference attendees to the Fagen Fighter Museum at the Granite Falls Airport on the morning of April 24. At noon, he'll help kick off the conference as the keynote speaker at the opening luncheon.

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).




Potential Topics Covered

  • Zoning
  • CIP development strategies
  • Airport land use compatibility and planning
  • Obstruction evaluation and analysis
  • Grants and funding
  • Airport basics for new managers
  • Solar farms and tall structures
  • MN State Aviation System Plan
  • The latest in funding, policy, and safety from MnDOT and FAA leaders


Participant registration will be available in early 2019.

Become a Sponsor/Exhibitor

Learn about becoming a sponsor/exhibitor at the 2019 conference.

Who Should Attend

The conference focuses on airport management, operations, and maintenance, but it is open to anyone interested in aviation.


Accommodations are available at the Best Western Plus (320-235-6060) and the Holiday Inn Express (320-231-2601) at the special conference rate of $109 plus tax per night. To make a reservation, call your desired hotel and mention that you are an attendee of the Minnesota Airports Conference.

More Information

For more information, please contact Katherine Stanley at or 612-626-1023.

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