Flying Cloud (FCM)
Flying Cloud Airport has been part of the Metropolitan Airports Commission’s (MAC) general aviation airport system for 75 years, during which time the airport has matured into a bustling and thriving economic generator. Businesses appreciate both the proximity to the Twin Cities and the airport’s infrastructure, which help them safely and efficiently run their businesses.
Preparing for the Future
The MAC continued in 2022 to plan for the airport’s future through the year 2040 as part of a long-term planning process. Slated for completion in 2023, the process will result in recommendations to improve the airport’s infrastructure, ensuring it can continue to serve both the community and the businesses that rely on it for their success.
An important part of the process is gathering input from people who live in the surrounding communities and those who use or conduct business at the airport. Where possible, provided the numerous factors at play, the plan will reflect the input received.
To help accomplish that, the MAC held two public events in 2022, one in June and another in October. Collectively more than 350 people attended these events, where they learned more about how the airport operates, asked questions and provided their perspectives about its future.
Two Stakeholder Advisory Panel meetings were also held in 2022 – one in April and another in October – as part of the planning process. The panel consists of airport tenants and representatives from local communities, regional businesses and tourism associations. Panel members have a direct stake in the plan recommendations and provide subject matter expertise to the MAC as it considers its options for future improvements.
Airport Businesses Taking Off
Like many industries, aviation continued to face labor shortages in 2022. Multiple businesses located at Flying Cloud Airport took steps to invest in the next generation of aviation employees.
Flying Cloud Airport is home to four flight schools. Doing its part to address the nationwide pilot shortage – and accommodate the now growing number of students interested in learning to fly – one of these schools, AV8, completed the construction of a new hangar and made improvements to a second in 2022.
Meanwhile, FlyWise, a full-service aircraft maintenance company, began making plans in 2022 to offer educational services to a new generation of aviation maintenance professionals.
The MAC, through its airports, is proud to support these and all its aviation businesses in the work they do to preserve and grow the nation’s pool of skilled pilots and aircraft maintenance professionals.
Flying Cloud Airport has been for years a popular locale for aviation events, including the annual Wings of the North AirExpo in July and Girls in Aviation in September. The MAC’s airport workers provide operational support during these events by ensuring the airport grounds and facilities are ready to welcome thousands of visitors. Through its ambassador program, MAC employees also help facilitate fun-filled activities for guests, alongside the many other sponsor exhibitors.
While operations at Flying Cloud decreased by 7% in 2022 compared with 2021 – partly due to an unusual number of inclement weather days – it continues to be the busiest airport in the MAC’s general aviation airport system.