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Airport zoning bill heads toward Minnesota voteAirport zoning bill heads toward Minnesota vote

AOPA is urging Minnesota legislators to support an airport zoning bill that could soon come up for a floor vote in the state’s House of Representatives.

Minnesota House File 1933, introduced by Rep. Duane Quam (R-House District 25A), would replace the state’s current “one size fits all” zoning requirements with custom zoning applications tailored to local needs, and provide state funding resources for airports that do not meet current zoning criteria.

The bill would require the Minnesota Department of Transportation’s aeronautics and aviation branch to review proposed zoning cases within 90 days. There is no current deadline for state review, said Kyle Lewis, AOPA Great Lakes regional manager.

Another provision would create a more complete picture of local zoning by adding airport zoning maps to other zoning-control maps within a jurisdiction.

“Large and small airports face the same problems; urban sprawl and construction of tall structures like cell towers and wind turbines,” Lewis wrote in testimony provided to the House Transportation and Regional Governance Policy Committee in March. “As cities grow, available land becomes more difficult to maximize and airports are eventually encroached upon, creating a slew of problems.”

The bill, backed by state aviation officials, also underwent review in the Government Operations and Elections Policy Committee and the Transportation Finance Committee, receiving positive recommendations from each panel.

“Airport zoning is a very important piece of the planning puzzle, not only for airports, but for the surrounding communities,” Lewis said. “Proper planning and education help a community grow and support their local airport.”

AOPA has approximately 5,500 members in Minnesota.

Dan Namowitz

Dan Namowitz

Associate Editor Web
Associate Editor Web Dan Namowitz has been writing for AOPA in a variety of capacities since 1991. He has been a flight instructor since 1990 and is a 30-year AOPA member.
Topics: Advocacy, State Legislation, Airport Advocacy

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