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2020 Vol. 20, No. 3

Coronavirus creates changes, slowdowns for state’s airports

On a typical day, the two runways at Mankato Regional Airport are busy as aviation students at the state’s only accredited four-year flight school, Minnesota State University, Mankato, conduct numerous takeoffs and landings. However, things changed quickly in mid-March as Minnesota responded to the COVID-19 pandemic with a statewide stay-at-home order. All across the state, airports found themselves in similar situations, with drastic reductions in flight activity sometimes necessitating decreases in staffing.

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MSP takes hit from pandemic, while relievers fare slightly better
airport check-in

With so much of the country being told to stay home, it’s no surprise that the aviation industry has taken a significant hit. That’s especially true for Minnesota’s largest airport. At a May 18 board meeting of the Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC), which operates the Minneapolis–St. Paul International Airport and six reliever airports, leaders shared some sobering impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic—along with some guarded optimism.

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An airport’s story: Roseau Municipal
runway at night

Roseau Municipal Airport (ROX)—Rudy Billberg Field is located two miles east of the city of Roseau, Minnesota, and about 10 miles south of the Canadian border. The airport’s remote location makes it a vital link for both industry and healthcare. Valley Med Flight maintains a base for a helicopter and Polaris Industries runs a business shuttle between the Twin Cities and its manufacturing facilities in Roseau.

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Resources and training opportunities

Check out options for training and resources on communicable disease transmission, pavement condition data for airports, and promoting aviation education.

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Publication Credits

AirTAP Director: Mindy Carlson
AirTAP Coordinator: Katherine Stanley
Editor/writer: Amy Friebe
Designer: Angela Kronebusch
Contributing writers: Megan Tsai
Photos: Roseau Municipal Airport, Shutterstock, Willmar Municipal Airport, Mankato Regional Airport
Web Student: Axel Gustafson

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