An airport’s story: Blue Earth Municipal Airport

Blue Earth Municipal Airport is located three miles south of the town of Blue Earth in south central Minnesota. The city-owned airport averages 38 aircraft operations a day and has two runways: Runway 16/34 is concrete and Runway 3/21 is a turf strip 2245 x 200 ft. 

Aerial view of Blue Earth airport showing runways and hangars

Surrounding the airport is farmland that the city bids out to local farmers, with some restrictions. According to airport manager Luke Steier, communication is essential to maintaining the airport’s relationship with local farmers. 

“You just gotta communicate with the people that are farming it and have a laid-out plan,” he says. “We’ve actually marked the territories with physical markers that keep tall crops out of the areas that can’t have tall crops.” 

Over the last five years, the airport has been focusing on promoting general aviation to the public and maintaining its hangar occupancy. Steier says the airport has also worked toward accessing funding for maintaining its two runways. 

“We need continued funding for old facilities,” Steier says. In his experience federal funding has focused on new construction with little available for other needs. “All of our hangers are aging. We need to be sure to keep up funding for those kinds of things and not only for building.”

—Emma McIntyre is the CTS communications intern.



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